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Balloonists hold candlelight vigil for Ukrainian colleagues



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A candlelit vigil took place on Stags Farm in Newbury on Sunday night (March 20) as local balloonists came together to show solidarity with their colleagues in Ukraine.

Dave Baker has been a balloonist for more than 40 years and said he has met people from all over Europe including Russia and Ukraine.

As the conflict in Ukraine has shown no signs of stopping Mr Baker felt he needed to do something to show his fellow balloonists in Ukraine that he, and other colleagues, were supporting them from afar.

Dave said he has been in contact with his friends in Ukraine since the conflict brome out. Picture by: Dave Baker (55631844)
Dave said he has been in contact with his friends in Ukraine since the conflict brome out. Picture by: Dave Baker (55631844)

He said: “We travel to balloon events and we meet balloonists from most countries. We have got friends who are in Ukraine.

“We keep in touch with them. They were just doing their job flying passengers around in balloons. One guy I know is now using his car as a baracade to keep tanks out of the city; in his children's bedroom there is AK47s there.

“Basically, they have gone from being happy balloonists one minute and suddenly they’re at war, defending their city."

He and colleague Phil aren’t the only ones lighting balloons in solidarity, there are others around the country and Phil said that once those balloons have been flown, he will be putting a video together to send over to his Ukrainian colleagues.

He added: “We’ll send it off to them to show them that we are doing something to support them.”



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