World Record Holder Ken Wallis To Give Talk in Ely on Friday
MULTI world-record holder Wing Commander Ken Wallis returns to Ely on Friday to give a talk. Wing-Commander Wallis, who was born in Ely, raced motorcycles, speed boats and sports cars and was always something of a dare-devil – in the cold winter of 1939 h
MULTI world-record holder Wing Commander Ken Wallis returns to Ely on Friday to give a talk. Wing-Commander Wallis, who was born in Ely, raced motorcycles, speed boats and sports cars and was always something of a dare-devil - in the cold winter of 1939 he drove a car down the bank and along the frozen Great Ouse at Ely. "I must have been mad, but I got away with it", he told historian Mike Petty.
He had a distinguished wartime record as a Wellington bomber pilot, despite only having one good eye and spent years with the Strategic Air Command in America.
Ken spoke of his early days to the Fenland History on Friday meeting some months ago. Now he is returning to bring the story up to date.
This time he will concentrate on the autogyro which he famously flew in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice acting as stand-in for Sean Connery during the dramatic fighting sequences.
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But this is only part of the story for Ken has set 34 world records over a period of 30 years in this remarkable machine.
He added to these when in 1998, aged 82; he entered the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest aviator to achieve a World Record. Ken has ambitions to add to this total.
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Wing Commander Wallis will be speaking at the Countess of Huntingdon Church in Chapel Street in Ely on Friday, March 26 from 10.30 till noon. He will also bring supplies of his biography The Lives of Ken Wallis: engineer and aviator extraordinaire.
Ken is probably Ely's most distinguished living son. He has been honoured many times by academic and aeronautical institutions here and abroad and is looking forward to returning to his home city once more.
Fenland History on Friday meetings will continue at Ely Library until May 14. They are open to everybody who can get in and cost �2.50 on the door.
Pic cap: Ken Wallis with his autogyros at his Norfolk home.