Longridge postman Ray’s helicopter surprise

'Santa' Ray Walker next to the helicopter, which brought him to the fami;ly party at Longridge Cricket Club.
'Santa' Ray Walker next to the helicopter, which brought him to the fami;ly party at Longridge Cricket Club.

A big surprise was in store for family and friends of former Longridge postman and great grandad Ray Walker just before Christmas.

Not only did the well known 87-year-old decide to drop into the annual party by helicopter – but he also dressed up as Father Christmas, taking with him a sack full of presents.

Ray Walker with son Alan and daughter Teresa at the family party.

Ray Walker with son Alan and daughter Teresa at the family party.

Ray’s daughter Teresa, who organises the party for family and friends each year, explains that a few months before Christmas her dad said he would like to ride in a helicopter when he was 90.

He then decided that instead he would do it for this year’s Christmas ‘do’.

“I couldn’t believe it when he said he was going to do it. I was really worried, he has a pacemaker, but he really enjoyed it,” said Teresa.

The 100-strong gathering, who knew nothing of Ray’s plans, was also delighted by the surprise.

'Santa' Ray Walker hands out presents to family after arriving by helicopter as 'Santa'.

'Santa' Ray Walker hands out presents to family after arriving by helicopter as 'Santa'.

“It was wonderful,” said Teresa. “A really lovely day. The children were really gobsmacked with it.”

Ray’s half hour flight included flying all over the Ribble Valley before hovering over the cricket ground and landing at the club.