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A letter from 13 year old Vicky Sturrs

After seeing Ray at the 1999 Sunderland Kite Festival in England

 Photo of Vicky A 74-year-old man, tanned the colour of old chestnuts, shirtless and bow-legged made his way to the middle of the field.

"This is a tribute to Malcolm and Jannette. Without their confidence, support and organisation this kite festival would not be possible" boomed the faceless voice of the tannoy.

The kitelines tightened, bringing two identical silhouetted kites into view. Two ground hands ran to attach a royal blue tail that linked them both together. Could the kites fly side by side? Could one move while the other did its own thing? And would they be able to support each other while they floated effortlessly through the routine? Calming music drifted on the air as the kites climbed higher and higher into the cloudless blue.

The sun shone brightly on the spectators, detailing glints reflecting off sunglasses and jewellery as heads were pointed towards the sky. Their hands lay perfectly still at their sides and their eyes were glazed with amazement as the kites danced in the heavens and sung on the clouds. The tail twisted and turned as the kites swirled in endless loops. A hushed silence fell over the crowd as the kites split up and pirouetted to the ground, landing in perfect unison.

A roar went up, hands were waved and eyes were dried. There in the middle of the field stood Ray Bethell, his own hands waving and his eyes smiling. As the crowd dispersed only one image remained in their minds -- the moving and beautiful Swan Lake in the sky.

Written by By Vicky Sturr
(age 13)

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Top Corner Photo
Copyright © 1999
Sam Eaton

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