Hot air balloon visits Bolton school

A hot air balloon ride can be a truly breath-taking experience, and some lucky children at a Bolton school got a taste of it when they were given time out of class to go up in a hot air balloon.

The balloon was set up on the fields off Captains Clough Road in Bolton, and the unusual sight drew the attention of a number of people passing by. Rebecca Wheatley, the class’s teacher, called in a favour from friends to make the event happen. Wheatley explained:

“Our topic this half term is ‘Up, Up and Away’ where we are looking at rockets, planes and hot air balloons. One of the other teachers said it would be great if we had a hot air balloon, and I said I have a friend who owns one.”

She had then approached Phil Howarth, who is the managing director of Flintnine Fasteners in Little Hutton. Together with wife Zoe, he arranged to attend the school with their hot air balloon. Wheatley mentioned that the children were in disbelief on being given the news. She also stressed the importance of doing things like this, because it makes it real in the minds of the children, some of who had never been on an aeroplane before.

While not every class is lucky enough to be visited by a hot air balloon, traditional balloon rides are also suitable for children, although they need to be at least 4’6″ (1.35m) tall in order to see over the side of the basket.

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