Call us now on

0800 201 4811

Inspirational Generation – flying solo and being a good neighbour

Lifestyle

Here we tell the wonderfully colourful stories of two retirees who both have inspiring stories to share.

I learnt to fly solo

Jean Hall is 91 and has lived at a McCarthy & Stone development for over a year. Her passion for flying started in a WWII Mosquito Plane. After years in the Navy, she later took her first solo flight.

‘A lot of my life has been connected with flying, and that has really been my chief interest. Soon after I left school when I was seventeen, I joined the Women’s Royal Navy service and was eventually posted to the Fleet Air Arm.

I was allowed to go up on test flights and that sparked my first real interest in flying. I’d longed to go on a test flight in a fast aeroplane and at last an occasion came, and I was asked to go to the squadron and take a flight in a Mosquito which I enjoyed beyond belief. From that moment my interest in flying was kindled, and it has been my chief interest in life.

Later on I had more Mosquito flights, and eventually a Mosquito pilot became my fiancé and then my husband. Just before I left Broadleigh Naval Station I was selected to represent Ford in the great victory parade march in London, where we marched for five miles past the King, the Queen, the Princesses and all the Royal Family. That was an occasion I shall always remember.

Soon after that my husband and I both left the Navy. My husband took the commercial licenses he needed to become an airline pilot. I was approached by an elderly and then famous aviator, called Sir Alan Cobham, who was developing for the first time, as far as I know in history, a process for refuelling aeroplanes in-flight. It was at a very early stage and he was carrying out a number of trials for re-fuelling with converted Lancaster Bombers, one of which acted as the tanker and provided large capacity for fuel, and the other aircraft to receive the transferred fuel.

My last time in a little aeroplane was many years ago. I learnt to fly at a flying club and went solo, and occasionally had a flight. My husband more or less challenged me to learn to fly and go solo in 12 hours, which I did.’

My community work was recognised by the Queen

Jean Peasley is 86, and has spent over 40 years supporting vulnerable people in her community. What started as a Good Neighbour Scheme later led to recognition from Her Majesty.

‘When I was quite a young person, I felt a very strong bond with the elderly and people who were under-privileged. As soon as I had the chance, I became a member of a very, very exciting organisation where I lived in Bourne End.

It started as a Good Neighbour Scheme and ended up being Wye Valley Volunteers, incorporating Good Neighbours. What that means is we try to support people in our community in every way we can. I’ve now been doing this for over 40 years.

As the years rolled by, people started to realise how many years I’d been working in the community. I hasten to add that all of our volunteers have never taken anything. It’s all been voluntary and I’ve loved every moment of it. I felt like the organisation was a small acorn, growing into a large oak tree.

When I got to my eighties, people started to think I should be acknowledged for the work that I’ve done. I’m very proud and privileged to have had the Queen recognise the work I’ve done here in her Birthday Honours List. I was awarded the 2015 British Empire Medal, which I received by the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire in 2016. I never expected, as an ordinary housewife, to receive such a high accolade and I feel very humbled by it. I’ve worked with all these wonderful volunteers who took part in my life.’

Are you a member of the inspirational generation? Watch our video starring Jean and Jean:

 

 

Tell us your inspirational stories to be in which a chance of winning £2,000!*
Like this article? Subscribe to receive updates...
Subscribe to receive notifications when we post new articles to our online magazine.
Loading...
By subscribing to these updates you’re agreeing to receive email updates when new articles are published to the McCarthy & Stone online magazine.
We’ll never send you spam or sell your details. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Related Articles

Lifestyle

VE Day 75

On 8th May, 75 years ago, the guns fell silent marking the end of the war in Europe. Millions of people took to the streets to celebrate peace and remember their loved ones.  ...Read more

Lifestyle

Hurry to Surrey

A small commute south of London but a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the capital sits rolling countryside, vast woodlands and quaint English villages ...Read more

Lifestyle

Beautiful Bistros

Our in-house catering team have been working behind the scenes to bring new services into our Retirement Living PLUS developments for our customers to enjoy ...Read more

Lifestyle

Couple Forge New Friendships in Retirement

Leslie and Ann Harpin, 87 and 81 recently made the decision to move to McCarthy and Stone’s Isabella House Retirement Living development in Hertford. The couple are not only enjoying spending more time together, they also have a new group of friends who they refer to as their extended family.  ...Read more

Lifestyle

Your Resale Questions Answered

McCarthy & Stone’s Resales Director, David Gabriel has over 20 years’ experience selling preowned retirement properties and heads up our dedicated in-house resales service. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Your Retirement Move is Safe in Our Hands 

The loss of a loved one is such an emotional experience for the family without the added stress of them being faced with selling their home. But if you need to sell your property, McCarthy & Stone Resales can take care of everything. ...Read more

Lifestyle

McCarthy and Stone Resales Success

McCarthy & Stone Resales is having a positive impact when it comes to supporting those who wish to resell their retirement properties, as well as helping new customers experience what a retirement living lifestyle is all about. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Tuning in To Singing in Later Life 

A singing group comprised of retirees from McCarthy & Stone’s Chinnerys Court Retirement Living development in Braintree, is showing how singing lifts the spirits and can be good for your health.  ...Read more

Lifestyle

A Tale of Happily Ever After

Good communication, consideration for each other and never going to bed without making up – are the secrets to a long, loving and successful marriage, says homeowners Mr and Mrs Bowhill. ...Read more

Lifestyle

£130,000 and Counting

Thanks to your generosity, we have smashed our target for this year’s charity partner Beanstalk. Here's a round up of some of the activities we have been getting up to across the UK. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Our Ultimate Christmas Recipes 

We've spoken to our Catering Manager who provides us with his ultimate Christmas recipes for you to try this season. They’re great for putting you in the Christmas spirit, and your friends and family members will love them. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Christmas Events – Roundup

We’re hosting a series of ‘At Home’ Christmas events for our residents and their families. Find out more about what’s happening in our roundup blog post.  ...Read more

Lifestyle

DIY Christmas Gifts you Still Have Time to Make 

With the countdown to Christmas now on, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas gifts. There are those people who buy and wrap everything by October, and then there’s the rest of us, who possibly leave things till the last minute. Well, why not get organised this year? ...Read more

Lifestyle

Christmas Decorating Tips 

To help make your home full of Christmas cheer, we’ve spoken to Clare Gibson, Head of Interior Design at McCarthy & Stone who’s provided her top Christmas decorating tips. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Tips for Successfully Downsizing

Many people find that later in life that their home is far bigger than they need. Downsizing can bring a variety of benefits, including both financial and practical ones. That said, it can often be an emotional or difficult time.  ...Read more

Lifestyle

Remarkable UK Gardens for Autumn Colour 

Another season has flown by and now the summer heat has faded with the turn of autumn. With the cooler days and longer nights, our gardens are transforming into a rich tapestry of colour, from fiery reds and oranges to majestic golds. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Caring for House Plants 

From succulents to spider plants, the demand for indoor foliage is showing no signs of slowing down. No matter what the season, low maintenance house plants are ideal for brightening up the look and feel of a room. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Foraging Favourites

For many people, collecting and eating wild plants and fungi has been part of life since childhood, filling punnets with wild edibles from ripening berries to sweet chestnuts. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Spotlight on York

A city of extraordinary cultural and historical wealth woven into  every  brick and beam, York seeps history at every turn. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Summer Events in 2019 To Look Out For

The summer season is packed with a variety of events to appeal to a range of interests and ages. Savour the delights of new and exciting cuisine, enjoy the thrill of world-class horse racing and discover the latest super cars, at events taking place across the summer months.  ...Read more

Lifestyle

It's All Greek To Us

Sparkling white beaches, deep blue seas, sugar-cube villages and venerable ancient sites make the
Greek islands an idyllic holiday destination for many. Tourists can immerse in the Greek cuisine,
century-old sites and local culture each island has to offer, while enjoy luxurious accommodation
and the locals’ warm and welcoming hospitality. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Fishing for Fun

Looking for an exhilarating and challenging activity that brings a sense of serenity and calmness? We think we’ve found the perfect catch. ...Read more

Lifestyle

It’s time to start living life to the full again

A McCarthy & Stone Retirement Living Plus apartment is about getting more from life for the over 70s. It’s the perfect combination really - company when you want it, help when you could use it, care when you need it. And all in the comfort of your own stylish new home. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Staying Cool and Well During A Heatwave

Although warmer weather can be a welcome sight for many, the increased temperatures can lead to
added risks for some, particularly those with health issues or those that are more vulnerable. Stay well with these tips.  ...Read more

Lifestyle

The History of Father's Day

Father’s Day is the perfect time to thank fathers and father figures for their help and support. In this post, McCarthy & Stone look at the history of Father’s Day. ...Read more

Lifestyle

A New Adventure 

Colin and Pat Mackay are looking forward to making the most of their retirement following their move to North Berwick.

...Read more

Lifestyle

The Benefits of Downsizing in Retirement

There are many benefits of downsizing and if this is something you are considering, here, we share our knowledge about downsizing, and explain why it could be one of the best things you can do for your retirement.   ...Read more

Lifestyle

Blooming Marvellous: The Chelsea Flower Show

The world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It’s the most glamorous day out in the gardening calendar.

The grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea are once again blooming with flora as the Royal Horticultural Society prepares to welcome 157,000 spectators to their annual five-day flower festival in May. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Working After Retirement – Is It For You?

More and more people are choosing to put off their retirement and continue working. Plus, in many other cases, those who have already retired are looking to return to work. Here, we weigh up the pros and cons of each situation. ...Read more

Lifestyle

How To Manage Your Diet In Retirement

There are many extra demands placed on our bodies as we progress through life and because of this our nutritional needs also change as a result. It is never too late to revamp your nutrition and nurture your body with a healthier diet.   ...Read more

Lifestyle

Tackling loneliness among older people with Pen Pals

We understand the problem of loneliness amongst older people and we want to do something to combat it. That’s why we have created our latest Pen Pals programme, an outlet to connect older people with other older people in communities by the writing and exchanging of letters. Click to find out more. ...Read more

Lifestyle

How To Make New Friends In Retirement

Friendship is hugely important at every stage in life, and retirement is no exception. What’s more, in retirement you could make the most of the extra free time you have to discover different experiences and meet new people – leading to new friendships and relationships.  ...Read more

Lifestyle

Sheffield – The Steel Centre of the World

Famed for its industry and innovation, the green, modern cityscape now replaces the smoking chimneys from the industrial revolution. There’s a friendly, independent and alternative spirit that can be hard to find in other cities alongside a thriving cultural scene. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Wally & The Flying Scotsman

Popular North Gate Court customer Wally Blazey moved into their McCarthy & Stone apartment with his wife Gladys seven months ago, and the couple have just celebrated their 72nd anniversary. At 92, Wally is one of the two last surviving drivers of the Flying Scotsman, the most famous steam locomotive in the world. ...Read more

Lifestyle

The Top 11 British Hidden Gems

Where are the best locations in the UK to visit... that you've probably not heard of? We've ranked the best hidden gems around Britain, that are easy to access, and offer a great weekend away with the family. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Do Pets Make You Happier?

Whether you're a pet owner or have a pet free home, animals of all kinds have been proven to improve the happiness of their human counterparts. To find out more McCarthy & Stone conducted a survey to see how pets enrich their owners lives. Here are the results! ...Read more