Over three hundred people from across the community welcomed Major Tim Peake in his home of Westbourne at a special event held to celebrate his extraordinary achievements on Thursday 12 July.
Major Tim unveiled a plaque placed next to an Oak tree planted by Westbourne Parish Council at Monk’s Hill recreation ground – The Common - in Westbourne, and officially opened the recently refurbished playground with innovative disabled access.
Major Tim said: “Thank you so much for coming to the unveiling and playground opening. This was my home turf for many years - my parents still live in the village and I love coming back to Westbourne. I feel that you guys have supported me so much throughout the mission and it’s great to come back. Thank you for everything you do to support us in getting future generations interested in science and space exploration which is so important.”
On behalf of Westbourne Parish Council, Chairman Cllr Richard Hitchcock thanked Tim for giving so generously of his time - his presence being very much appreciated. Richard went on to say “ There is little doubt that Tim is an inspiration and role model to so many of our young people, and of course, those of us that are not quite so young. It is a real pleasure to welcome him back to Westbourne and take this opportunity to celebrate his successes with a commemorative Oak tree and plaque as a permanent tribute for us to enjoy for years to come.”
Cllr Nigel Ricketts, Vice-Chair of the Parish Council, said: "It's tradition for astronauts to plant a tree in the 'avenue of heroes' at Baikonur in Kazakhstan before they travel to space, and the Parish Council wanted to do the same for Tim in his home of Westbourne. We are so pleased that so many local residents had the opportunity to meet Tim and celebrate his extraordinary achievements. I’d like to thank Tim for opening our newly refurbished playground which is a fantastic facility for young people living in Westbourne."
David Guest above left from Postcode Publications presented high-flyer Major Tim Peake with a memento of the stories carried in PO9&PO10 when he became the first British astronaut to spend time on the International Space Station - as Tim was of course out of our circulation area at the time of publishing the article.