WATCH: 90-year-old Conwy daredevil wants you to challenge him


James Wilde

A 90-year-old daredevil wants to find the ultimate thrill seeking challenge in aid of St David’s Hospice.

Ernest Cooke, a widower who has two daughters – Cheryl, aged 62 and Paula, aged 60 - has completed several fundraising activities for the charity including a zipwire challenge in Bethesda and last October did a 360 degree spin in a Spitfire plane raising more than £1,500.

The former typist said: “I don’t think about how old I am, life is about living.

”My family think I’m mad, they haven’t said it because they’re too polite. Whatever I do they’re always very supportive.

”The hospice is such a great cause backed by phenomenal people. You never know, I might need them one day, so whatever I can do to help, I will.”

Mr Cooke, who lives in Trefiw, worked as a typist during World War II in the East Surrey regiment, first battalion from 1944 to 1947.

During his childhood in Croydon he used to see Spitfire planes fly over his home and when the opportunity arose to fly in one of the planes at Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar air base in Kent, he seized it.

The journey took 35 minutes and Mr Cooke sampled the emotions and thrills that RAF pilots would have experienced as they got ready for take-off and went off to carry out their missions.

”The experience was brilliant and the pilot even did a Victory Roll which is what they did when coming back from the war, it was fantastic,” Mr Cooke said.

“I would like to thank everyone who donated and helped me achieve such a great amount for such a great charity.”

Wind walking is one suggestion already put forward for Mr Cooke to complete, but there is one thing that he wouldn’t do.

Mr Cooke said: “As long as I’m not told to sit there and put my feet up, I’m up for anything. Flying in the Spitfire was the dream but let’s see if what people suggest can top it.”

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