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Bill leaves buses behind to stand on wing of a biplane

Published on: 08 May 2017

HIS wife and daughters think he's mad - but travelling at 130mph on the wing of an aeroplane will be a breeze according to Fishponds pensioner Bill Quinn.

For that's exactly what the 73-year-old plans to do this summer to raise money for charity.

Bill, a former bus driver, is planning to collect at least £1,500 for Cancer Research and Southmead Hospital's oncology department.

He decided he wanted to give something back after he was successfully treated for bladder cancer in 1999.

"I had bladder cancer 18 years ago and at that time they were doing a new type of operation called a neobladder, which means your bladder is removed and replaced by skin from another part of your body. It was successful and I've now survived for 18 years! I have check-ups every 12 months but I've been clear ever since."

The septuagenarian, who used to drive the 48 and 49 buses through Fishponds and Downend, said: "I've always wanted to do something and have helped out at various charity events but I thought I needed to do something more before I got much older. I did consider a parachute jump but while I was looking at that I came across an ad for a wing walk. I thought 'Why not go mad and do one of those?'

"I will be standing on top of a biplane which will go up to about 400ft travelling at 130mph - but I'll be strapped in!"

The news wasn't exactly met with enthusiasm by Bill's wife Linda and his two daughters, Caroline and Julie.

"I'm fine about it but my wife and daughters think I'm mad. They know what I'm like; I'm always a bit mad. I expect I might be a little bit nervous the day before but I'm well up for it and just want to get on and do it."

Daredevil Bill could even become an internet star: "I'm having cameras fitted on the plane and I'll be given a memory stick with the footage on. I was thinking of putting it on YouTube. I might become a global sensation, it's worth a try!"

Bill's wing walk will take place on Saturday July 29 at 11.30am at Compton Abbas in Dorset.

Domate online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/billswingwalk or  pop into the Railway Tavern in Fishponds which has sponsorship forms.

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