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Judy's 100th birthday wish is not all hot air

PUBLISHED: 16:01 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:53 07 September 2010

Judy Goldshaw. Picture by Polly Hancock

Judy Goldshaw. Picture by Polly Hancock

A DAREDEVIL centenarian from Hampstead Garden Suburb will be marking her birthday with a hot air balloon ride - and has invited millionaire Richard Branson to be her companion. Judy Goldshaw, who lives in the Hammerson House residential home

Katie Davies

A DAREDEVIL centenarian from Hampstead Garden Suburb will be marking her birthday with a hot air balloon ride - and has invited millionaire Richard Branson to be her companion.

Judy Goldshaw, who lives in the Hammerson House residential home on The Bishops Avenue, aims to mark her 100th birthday with more than her telegram from the Queen which she received last Thursday.

The sky-soaring trip, planned for the summer, comes after other stunts by the 4ft 10in risk taker. On her 92nd birthday, she dressed in black leathers for a motorbike ride with a stunt man.

She said: "I am really looking forward to it - experiencing something new and different. Last week I had the best birthday party and I want to thank everyone involved - I can't believe I've reached 100."

Her niece Alison Johnson, from West Hampstead, has taken on the role of event organiser for Ms Goldshaw's hot air balloon ride.

She said: "It is such a landmark birthday - I thought we had to do something completely different to make her feel special.

"She is such a sweetheart, I have never heard her say a bad word against anyone. She has size two feet and she looks like a doll. She's just sweet and quaint, always looking out for others and never asking anything, so we thought we should give something back to her.

"Things like this are so small for me to organise, but they have a big effect on her and other people in the home."

Virgin Balloon Flights have offered the flight free to Ms Goldshaw, who will become their oldest ever customer. She is, however, still waiting to hear if Mr Branson will accept the invitation to accompany her.

One space has already been set aside for the home's deputy matron, whose lifelong ambition has been to take to the skies by balloon.

Ms Goldshaw was born in East London to Sarah and Maurice Goldshaw - Jewish immigrants from Poland. She lived in Bournemouth during the Second World War where she worked for the British Land Army and cared for her mother until her death in 1969 with her sister Estelle.

The two sisters moved into Hammerson House in 1971, but Estelle sadly died in 1997.

Ms Johnson added: "Judy has dedicated her life to looking after others and is one of the most wonderful, sweetest people you could ever wish to meet."

The Mayor of Barnet Maureen Braun joined the family to celebrate Ms Goldshaw's birthday.

A spokesman for Virgin Balloon Flights said: "We make dreams come true for the thousands of people who enjoy champagne balloon flights with us every year and we are delighted to do this for an amazing lady like Judy to help her mark such a special milestone.

"She will become the most senior person who has ever flown with Virgin Balloon Flights in our 21-year history and, after riding on the back of a racing motorbike for her 92nd birthday, a voyage in a Virgin balloon will be a serene and unforgettable experience for her."

katie.davies@hamhigh.co.uk

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