South Shields pensioner on top of the world after taking the plunge for charity
Space traveller Tim Peake wasn't the only brave Brit to come back down to earth at the weekend.
While the astronaut touched down on Saturday after six months among the stars, a big-hearted South Tyneside pensioner was having an out-of-this-world experience of her own on the same date.
School crossing patrol warden Edith Mason descended from the clouds from 10,000 feet to complete a charity sky dive in memory of her much-missed brother.
The daredevil 67-year-old confesses she has a fear of falling - but that didn’t stop her taking a leap of faith to raise vital funds for nationwide charity Parkinson’s UK.
Mrs Mason’s brother, Chris Maughan, battled Parkinson’s in the two years leading up to his death at the age of 68 15 years ago.
Mrs Mason, of Vernon Close, South Shields, decided to conquer her fears and face her latest challenge head on - having already twice beat cancer herself.
The grandmother-of-eight and great grandmother-of-two admits she ‘surprised’ herself as he kept her composure as the minutes ticked down until her date with destiny.
She could have been forgiven for having cold feet after being forced to endure a six-hour delay due to low cloud cover over Shotton Colliery Airfield, near Peterlee.
But she was rearing to go when she finally got the signal to get strapped in for the jump of her life.
Mrs Mason’s blue sky thinking has already raised a fantastic £600 for the nationwide charity - leaving her floating on air all over again.
Mrs Mason said: “It was absolutely brilliant.
“Tim Peake is a bit more high-profile than me, but we both had a good landing.
“I was absolutely fine on the day, I surprised myself.
“The sky dive was from 10,000 feet, some of the views were breathtaking.
“It seemed to go over quite quickly - it lasted about five to ten minutes.
“I really enjoyed it.
“I got a certificate and have already raised £600 for Parkinson’s UK.”
Mrs Mason’s daring dive was delayed for so long that a couple of her friends had to leave before seeing her take flight.
But one of her close pals and her husband remained on the ground as she touched the clouds.
People can still donate to the charity by logging onto www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Edith-Mason