FOUR military veterans have volunteered to take part in a charity skydive over Durham Tees Valley Airport to celebrate the Mynarski Lancaster flypast.

The veterans, aged between 45 and 79, are hoping that the jump will launch Age UK Darlington’s appeal to raise £25,000 for a new minibus.

Norman Horton, 77, who served in the Parachute Signals Squadron for six of his 25 years of military service, is not nervous about skydiving.

“I’ve jumped before,” he says, “not for 51 years, mind.”

Norman was the first to volunteer to jump for the cause, followed by Bill Sibthorpe, 79, who has served a total of 18 years in military service.

Both were involved in military actions in Cyprus during the 1960s, but have also served in Germany, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Christine Elliott, who previously served in the WRNS and is described as “a spring chicken compared to the others” by Bill, will jump out with Queen’s Own Hussars veteran Sean Sellings, 45, at 1pm, then Bill and Norman will jump at 1.45pm.

The airport normally only allows skydiving to take place at the weekends, but bosses have made this exception following the huge interest in the Lancaster flypast, for which tickets sold out in quick time.

The veterans are particularly hoping that the jump will raise publicity for the Veterans Club, which is held every Wednesday at Age UK's Bradbury House base in Darlington.

To donate to Age UK’s appeal go to