The Last BA001 Heathrow – JFK
Thursday 23rd Oct 2003 - 6-ish PM
After both Concorde’s landed I wanted to go home as I was extremely tired but I knew I couldn’t let Sparky down, I’d given him my word and no matter what happened I wasn’t going to brake my word so I slowly walked back to Hatton Cross and past the Concorde crossing the road points.
On my way to Hatton Cross a lot of people recognised me, They said
You’re the guy who was on TV and who flew on Concorde.
We saw you on TV.
They came up to me and asked
They were all very very happy for me……they all congratulated me and said well done, this really really lifted my spirits.
I tried to answer their questions the best I could but there where so many people asking me these questions that I didn’t have time to speak to them all.
I didn’t know what was shown about me on tv…....I didn’t know what happened in the UK as at the times things where being broadcast about me I was either chasing Concorde (3 Oct 2003 - 20 Oct 2003)…..on Concorde (21 Oct 2003) or in New York (22 Oct 2003).
I never knew I was on BBC teletext (until a few weeks after I came home when people told me and showed me photos of it).
At the time of my flight I was focused 100% on making sure I enjoyed my flight and that I didn’t miss the last few days
of Concorde's life……..but I never really knew how big things where for me.
I heard that most people in London and Essex may have seen me on TV and newspapers……I heard that people in Filton (Bristol) and in the midlands had heard about me on their local TV and radio……I heard that big bosses from British Airways, BBC and every one else had seen me on TV.
But to me it didn’t feel “real" I never really knew how big things in the “outside world” where as I was to busy either going to Heathrow everyday to see Concorde or on 21 Oct 2003 I was to busy flying on Concorde.
Its like in October 2003 I "missed" the whole thing about me being on TV and in the press….it sounds strange but this is what really happened…… I missed all this as in Oct 2003 I WAS the guy being film for TV and I WAS part of Concorde's news.
Only way to describe it was like being on Apollo 11……I remember on Apollo 11’s 20th Anniversary I watched TV interviews with Buzz Aldrin (2nd man on the moon)…… I also read many books about the Apollo moon landings in them Buzz said
Neil and I didn’t know what was happening back home as we where all concentrating on landing on the moon, but we where ones who where on TV and newspapers but we didn’t see all the TV and newspaper coverage of people watching them.
Its like we where all out of town and had missed the whole show, yet we where the whole show and we where the ones who made history. We only found out how big and exciting things where when we got home and saw newspapers and TV coverage around the world about us.
To me my flight and the TV coverage about me felt exactly the same…..(Even now I don’t know how big I was, I don’t know how excited my friends and finally must have been to suddenly see me on TV).
As I walked past the British Airways staff car park near Hatton Cross I saw huge crowds of people bigger than ever before, more people started to recognise me, more people happily said
Hey you’re the guy who was on TV and who flew on Concorde
We saw you on TV
More people congratulated me ………. it was a really great, warm lovely and loving feeling, I felt like a pop star, I felt extremely happy.
But there where a few times when I was a bit scared of all the attention I was getting.