Joy reaches for the skies at age of 83

Joy Fleetham after her first flying lesson.
Picture by Paul Atkinson:
NBFP PA1648-11f

Joy Fleetham after her first flying lesson. Picture by Paul Atkinson: NBFP PA1648-11f

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Bridlington’s fearless fencer has found a new hobby.

Joy Fleetham, who is 83, belives she is the oldest competitive fencer in Yorkshire, but she is not content with that.

Joy Fleetham at the controls of the plane.

Joy Fleetham at the controls of the plane.

Instead, she has taken her first flying lesson, and can’t wait to take to the skies for more.

“It has been a lifelong ambition of mine,” she said.

“The instructor got us off the ground but after that it was completely in my control.

“I enjoyed every minute of it. It was absolutely fantastic.”

Ready for take off

Ready for take off

She is already plotting her next adventure. “I want to have a glider flight,” Joy admitted.

The flying lesson was not her best experience in a plane though, as she was a passenger on Concorde in her younger years.

“That was absolutely brilliant,” she said.

For her lesson, Joy headed to the Linley Hill Airfield, at Leven near Beverley, which is the home of Hull Aero Club.

She was accompanied by instructor John Spence and they flew over the Vale of York and then towards the coast.

“It was the most beautiful day, so clear.

“We went right down the coast and then he said we could fly over my house, although I couldn’t make it out.

Joy is convinced she had impressed her instructor.

“He said I was a natural.

“He seemed quite relaxed and he was surprised I knew so much about the controls.

“He asked me if I wanted to join their aerobatic team and do wing-walking, but I said I’d have to think about that one.

“I told him that if he comes fencing with me, I might do it, but I’m not sure he was too keen.

Joy says the secret to her active life despite being in her 80s in exercise and cod liver oil.