Andy’s birthday balloon released from March comes down to earth in a Belgium farm

Andy Knight and Jan Gatward outside their Toy Box shop, March. Picture: Steve Williams. Andy Knight and Jan Gatward outside their Toy Box shop, March. Picture: Steve Williams.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:40 AM

A helium balloon released from March at the end of a 50th birthday party has been found on a farm in east Belgium.

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Andy Knight at theToy Box shop, March. Picture: Steve Williams.Andy Knight at theToy Box shop, March. Picture: Steve Williams.

The balloon was one of two released from the garden of Fenmarc worker Andy Knight at the end of celebrations for his landmark birthday.

Mr Knight, of Robingoodfellows Road, said: “I had a load of friends back to my house, some were camping in the garden and they said why not set off the balloons to see what happens.

“I attached my email address but didn’t think anything would come of it. I couldn’t believe it when two days later I opened up an email from a lady in Belgium, I though it was my friends mucking about at first but we checked the address and it is definitely a Belgium email.”

The balloon travelled around 386 miles at an average speed of about 6.5 miles an hour to reach the farm of Isobelle Houbeau, who lives in the eastern area of the country.

Laurent with the note at the spot where the balloon was foundLaurent with the note at the spot where the balloon was found

Her email says: “I found your balloon in my meadow in front of my farm the 06.05.2014, I live in Belgium in Becco village of the municipality of Theux province of Liège.”

Mr Knight, whose partner Jan Gatward runs the Toy Box shop in town, said: “The last thing I expected was for the balloon to be found, never mind so far away.”

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