Aiming high

16th December 2021 | posted in News

At a time of life when many might be thinking of taking it easy, Ann Thomas decided it was time to jump out of an aeroplane.

Ann has always wanted to skydive and wasn’t going to be put off by the fact she is 73.

“I do keep fit twice and week and have a walk everyday so fitness and mobility wasn’t a problem,” said Ann. ”Ever since I was young I have wanted to do a parachute jump. In recent years I’ve drawn up a bucket list and I thought if I don’t get a move on I’ll never do it.”

There’s certainly variety on Ann’s list. In recent years she’s ticked off seeing the puffins at Flamborough Head, visiting Iceland and taking part in Sea of Hull – an art project involving 3,000 naked people painting themselves blue and forming a human river.

When her grandson, Dan Memluks, 21,  and his aunt Vilma King, 60, started planning a parachute jump to mark their landmark birthdays Ann decided to join them.

“It was absolutely amazing,” said Ann. “There’s a great gush of air as you leave the plane then I opened my eyes as I was freefalling and the view was spectacular. The Yorkshire coastline was stunning, I could see Scarborough and Bridlington and Filey and the North Sea was a wonderful blue.”

Ann did a tandem dive with an instructor and after 5,000ft she got into position and opened the parachute.

“The chute opens and that lifts you up and then your arms and legs are free and you feel yourself floating until it’s time to land. I wasn’t frightened at all, I was exhilarated.”

Ann has a son and daughter, Philip and Kate, as well as three grandsons. She worked for Comet for many years before retiring and moving to Railway Housing Association’s Paterson House in Hull. 

She raised over £700 from the jump for SSAFA, a forces charity that helped her ex-Royal Navy brother Colin Walsh move house recently to be nearer family. 

“Everyone is now asking me what I’m going to do next,” said Ann. “I haven’t decided, but I would definitely recommend a parachute jump to others.”


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