Derbyshire swing fans soar to the sky in daring world first

Band leader Helen Thurlby (left) and hang gliding champion Judy Leden MBE.
Band leader Helen Thurlby (left) and hang gliding champion Judy Leden MBE.

Two women who share a love for playing brass instruments will take to the skies to perform a daring stunt which they say is a ‘world first’.

Twice women’s world hang gliding champion, Judy Leden MBE, and Cressbrook Band conductor, Helen Thurlby, will play ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ on cornet while hang gliding in tandem at 3,000 feet.

They are embarking on the hang glide to raise funds towards a new home for Tideswell Band, as the community hall in which they used to rehearse was destroyed by fire two years ago.

Expert brass player Helen will take the musical lead role, while Judy will accompany her - as well as piloting the hang glider!

Speaking about the flight, Judy said: “I haven’t worked out the fine logistics of how to fly a hang glider one-handed while playing the cornet, but I am looking forward to the challenge of doing something completely new and untried.”

The hang glider flight is due to take place on Saturday August 26 at noon, at Darley Moor Airfield in Ashbourne.

Brass bands are being invited from all over Derbyshire, to join them and play music and support Helen and Judy’s flight.

Helen said: “This seems a perfect way to combine our two obsessions, while raising money for the vital cause of a new bandroom for Tideswell Band.”

If you would like to donate to Helen and Julie’s fundraising or would like more information, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cornets-with-altitude.