Former Boston Mayor’s skydive for 80th birthday

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A former mayor of Boston has – at the age of 80 – completed a 13,000ft tandem skydive for a local good cause, saying he ‘loved every minute of it’.

Coun Richard Austin, a member of Boston Borough Council for Wyberton, took on the sky-high challenge on Wednesday in support of a cause close to his heart, Boston Woods Trust.

The ex-leader of Boston Borough Council was bought the parachute experience by his wife, Alison, as a present for his 80th birthday in June.

“It was a wonderful experience,” he said. “The most exciting part was when we went into freefall for 50 seconds, reaching 120mph.”

He added: “I’ve wanted to do it all my life. When the chute opened, we came down gently. I was given the control ropes and steered the parachute. The controls were quite sensitive.”

Coun Austin had a clear sky for the jump, though he had to wait for about four hours for early-morning mist to clear.

As chance would have it, he shared Langar Airfield, in Nottinghamshire, with a team of 50 skydivers who were making plans to break the record for a joined-hands skydive.

When he spoke to the Standard in August, Coun Austin said he had a fundraising target of £1,600 – £20 for every year of his life – but this week he said he now hopes to hit the £2,000 mark.

You can still sponsor Coun Austin by phoning him on 01205 368351, emailing him at or going online and making a payment from your bank account to the Boston Woods Trust using the reference Sky Dive, account number 00216407, sort code 30-91-04.

Alternatively, cheques made payable to Boston Woods Trust can be sent to Richard Austin, Sky Dive, Cherry Tree Cottage, Low Road, Wyberton, Boston, PE21 7AP. Anyone making donations is asked to write Sky Dive on the back of their cheque.