Nellie-copter

PUBLISHED: 17:03 24 May 2007 | UPDATED: 12:32 04 May 2010

Wartime bomber command pilot Ken Wallis and his flying machine, which featured in a James Bond movie, will be the guests of honour at Wicken Fete next month. Ely-born Ken, now 91, stood in for Bond actor Sean Connery at the controls of Little Nellie in th

Wartime bomber command pilot Ken Wallis and his flying machine, which featured in a James Bond movie, will be the guests of honour at Wicken Fete next month.

Ely-born Ken, now 91, stood in for Bond actor Sean Connery at the controls of Little Nellie in the film You Only Live Twice.

He will open the fete and the renowned autogyro machine will take part in the parade and be on display throughout the day.

"I am delighted to be supporting Wicken fete," says Wing Commander Wallis, who flew with Bomber Command during the Second World War.

"I was born and brought up in Ely so it will be something of a home-coming.

"I live in a small village in Norfolk, so I am well aware of how important this kind of event is in raising the money needed by local communities."

Ken built his first motorcycle at the age of 11 and assembled his first aircraft in the 1930s.

He had a distinguished military career with the RAF, first in Lysander 268 and 241 Squadrons and then transferring to Bomber Command (103 Squadron) in June 1941.

Later in his military career, Ken - pictured putting Little Nellie through her paces - was involved in research and development. He received the MBE in 1996.

He describes his fascination with aviation as a "family vice".

His father and uncle built the world's first steel-structured monoplane, the Wallbro in 1910.

He will open the fete at 12.30pm and will reminisce about his childhood in Ely, his flying days in the RAF and his experiences on the set of You Only Live Twice.

He will then spend some time showing Little Nellie to members of the public, although she will not be taking to the air.

The fete promises lots of attractions for visitors including sports and games, a climbing wall and a host of stalls. Among the star attractions will be the local curate, Eddie Green, appearing as "Aunt Sally". There will also be an annual dog show, one of the shows through which dogs qualify for entry to Crufts.

Money raised from the fete will help local organisations such as Wicken's Community First Responder Group, youth groups, churches and old folks clubs among others.

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