Graham Reading Photography

A single Spitfire took to the skies above Ryde to mark the joint 85th birthday of an Isle of Wight couple.

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The whole of Ryde seafront was treated to a ten minute display by the iconic Spitfire as it dipped, dived and looped across the Solent, all in celebration of Chris and Josephine Jolliffe’s 85th birthdays.

Retired Concorde Captain, Chris Jolliffe, and his wife Josephine, an ex-BOAC stewardess, moved to the Isle of Wight in 1978 to run the (now closed) Wellington Lodge Hotel and have lived on the Island since.

The couple enjoyed the show alongside friends and family, including 14 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. They were also joined by a couple who had honeymooned at their hotel over 30 years ago.

Following the performance Chris said:

“The pilot, John Dodd, did the most fantastic job – if he’d been armed with guns, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. I don’t know him personally but he’d be very welcome to drop by if he’s ever over this way.”

The iconic Spitfire performing over the Solent. Photo:
Chris and Jo Jolliffe’s Joint 85th Birthday Celebrations. Photo:
Birthday couple, Chris and Josephine Jolliffe. Photo:
Chris and Josephine joined by family and friends on Ryde seafront. Photo:


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