On May 11th this year Tarvin resident Bert Morris was 88 and to celebrate, he had decided to do something different – very different. On the morning of his birthday he stood on a windswept airfield in Shropshire ready to start his week`s gliding course.
This desire to glide serenely above the glorious countryside was not a whim, but a return to a love of flying that Bert had first experienced as a young man. As a teenager he had been in the Air Training Corps, but peace in 1945 put an end to his dream to join the RAF. After service in the Palestine Police Force he returned to the UK and trained as an electrician, eventually qualifying via night school and college, as an electrical engineer. Despite the pressures of work and family, he managed to take to the air in 1961/62 completing three gliding courses during which he was able to fly solo.
For the next seventeen years, flying had to be set aside until aged 50, he obtained his pilot's license and, being a quarter – owner of a couple of small Cessna planes, flew regularly for about ten years. Though his children enjoyed flying with him, his wife was less keen after an unexpected demonstration of aerobatics over Lake Michigan in the USA persuaded her to keep her feet firmly on the ground!
Bert lived in Kelsall for many years and enjoyed many travels with his wife for both business and pleasure. After her death in 2006 he moved to Tarvin to be near his daughter and continued to travel. But the desire to take to the skies one more time was strong and he finally took the step to go gliding again.
Bert thoroughly enjoyed the experience but doesn't plan to repeat it. He recognises that, at his age, the ground handling was physically very tiring. His philosophy is not to ignore his age but to respect it and to do the things that give him pleasure and satisfaction without taking unnecessary risks. But the memories of that glorious week will stay with him for a long time.
For details of the gliding week and other opportunities go to www.longmynd.com