Help secure our future


Kirsty Howard

On Sunday 21/11/99 five bus drivers and two family members traded wheels for wings and jumped from a perfectly serviceable aircraft for charity.

What started as a joke in the crew room became reality when 2,700ft separated man from the ground.

Night driver Chris Gordon's niece Kirsty Howard, aged four, is a terminally ill little girl who resides at Francis House Hospice in Didsbury, Manchester. When Chris and his family found out recently that the hospice was threatened with closure due to lack of Government funding, they decided to do something about it.

So Chris press-ganged fellow night drivers Steve Jackson, Graham Jackson, Bob Hope and Ian Holden into joining him to "fall off a log". "I thought he was insane", said Steve, "then he showed me Kirsty's picture and I just had to say yes". This was the same with the other drivers and so along with son Chris and brother-in-law Steve Howard (Kirsty's father), the Magnificent 7 was formed.

On the morning of Saturday the 20/11/99 they set off for six hours intensive training at the Black Nights Parachute Centre, Cockerham, Lancashire. This involved all aspects of parachuting, both physical and mental. At the end of Saturday they were all cleared to jump by their trainer.

The next morning, travelling on transport provided by FINGLANDS, Kirsty, family and friends joined the nervous group for the journey back up the M6.

At 1300hrs donning round canopy parachutes and with Bob wearing a pink jump-suit for a bet, they all boarded the Islander aircraft and were flown to 2,700ft. The joke was now a reality.

The event was a great success and enjoyed by all. The amount raised has yet to be confirmed.

Kirsty and The magnificent 7

The lads would like to thank FINGLANDS and all their supporters for their generous contributions.


A selection of pictures can be viewed at

Anybody wishing to make a donation to the Francis House Charity can do so by ringing 0800-0971197
or visit their web site at

Original text by Steve Jackson


A presentation of the money raised was made at Francis House on Sunday, 23 January 2000
See this page for some of the pictures. We hope to get a full article soon.


This web page has been thrown together by Mike Little

Pages maintained by:  Mike Little.