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Village Gives 100-Year-Old Postmistress Beeson a Ride on the Concorde

May 17, 1986

WOODCOTE, England (AP) _ The village of Woodcote sent former postmistress Maggie Beeson on a Concorde jet flight Saturday - a present to one of its favorite citizens for her 100th birthday.

Miss Beeson told neighbors on her birthday last March that her one remaining wish was to fly faster than the speed of sound on the Concorde jetliner.

So residents of this Oxfordshire village 35 miles west of London set out to give her that wish, holding raffles and other functions to raise the money - about $500.

The post office Miss Beeson ran until she retired 32 years ago issued a first-day cover to celebrate her flight.

At lunchtime, bandsmen of the 2d Battalion of the Wessex Regiment marched through the village in their scarlet tunics in a festive sendoff.

Then Miss Beeson, a pink corsage pinned to her gray coat, climbed into a Rolls-Royce limousine and waved to well-wishers as she was swept off to Heathrow airport for a 90-minute flight over southern England to the Bay of Biscay off France and back. Such flights are regularly arranged for people who want the thrill of supersonic flight, and there were about 100 other passengers on the chartered flight.

John Crawford, who organized the raffle, said, ″It is a fairy tale come true for a grand old lady who is being treated like the queen today.″

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