Children from a Stonehouse school enjoy hot air balloon adventure

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By Sarah Yates, Reporter

Up, up and away…85 children from Hopelands Preparatory School in Stonehouse enjoyed a hot air balloon adventure courtesy of Ballooning in the Cotswolds


EIGHTY-five lucky children from Hopelands Preparatory School in Stonehouse have taken part in a hot air balloon adventure.


David and Jenna Pearce, who own Ballooning in the Cotswolds, had originally offered the experience as a special treat for their daughter Alyssa, six, and her classmates at Hopelands.


But the generous couple extended the day to include the whole school – all 85 children and their teachers.


“We had been planning the day for some time, to tie in with a school project on transport”, said Mr Pearce.


“Weather conditions meant we had to keep postponing our plans but in the end, we had a perfect day.


“The best bit for the children was being able to see from the inside how the air balloon is blown up by a big fan, going from lying on its side on the ground to fully inflated and ready to float.”


Every Hopelands pupil enjoyed a tethered flight as part of the day.


One pupil said: “It was really fun. We all helped with the blowing up, and then went up higher than everyone else.


“We saw a girl in another school down below looking up at us in the balloon – it was amazing.”


Hopelands headteacher Sheila Bradburn said: “This was such a generous gift from Ballooning in the Cotswolds, and a real treat for our children.


“I don’t think their feet are fully back on the ground yet – they haven’t stopped talking about the day.”


Groups of eight to ten children took it in turns to go up and down in the hot air balloon which was tethered to a car in the field next to Stonehouse Community Centre car park in Laburnum Walk – just a few minutes from the school.


The ride took place on Thursday, May 15, during SATs week, so it was a nice break for the children.


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