Balloons up and away...all the way to the Netherlands

Children release balloons for Todmorden High School's balloon race
Children release balloons for Todmorden High School's balloon race

Earlier this term we were delighted to welcome year six children into our school so they could experience a day in the life of a Todmorden High School student.

Every child who visited the school was given a balloon to be entered into a balloon race.

The balloons were labelled with the school’s contact details and at the end of the day, the children gathered outside to see their balloons set off on their journey.

When the balloons were first released, we were delighted to get our first phone call within an hour of the balloons setting off on their journey. One of them had already made its way to Halifax.

It was clear these balloons were going to go far. The calls and emails kept coming - balloons had been found in Leeds, Cleckheaton, Gomersal and Liversedge.

Two days after the balloons set off we got a phone call. One of the balloons had been found in Brigg, North Lincolnshire. It had flown 67 miles.

The next day we had an answerphone message from a gentleman in Lincolnshire. He had found one of our balloons but he had a story to tell and asked if we could call him back.

The gentleman is in his 70s but a very keen fell runner. He had been out running on a blustery and wet evening but in the distance he could see something the same colour as his running top in a hedge.

He ran towards it and found the balloon with a message on.

He didn’t want to leave it but he still had another three miles to go and it was far too windy to just hold onto the balloon. It would have blown right out of his hand.

So he stuffed it up his running top, ran all the way home (looking like he was pregnant!) and called the school.

Later that week, we received an email we weren’t expecting.

A gentleman had found one of the balloons in the Netherlands. He sent the following message:

“I found your balloon in good health, only a little bit exhausted from the long journey, at first on my balcony and then in my garden.”

This balloon had managed to fly to another country and land 342 miles away from where it had started its journey.