Kirkby balloon’s mammoth journey

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A balloon has travelled 660 miles after setting out from the site of a Kirkby business as part of a race.

The winning entry earned two prizes, one for its releaser and one for the man who found it in Valldal, Norway.

It travelled to Norway in three days after setting out from County Battery, on Low Moor Road, and was of one of 400 other balloons.

Richard Fuller, County Battery managing director, said: “The balloon arrived in Norway three days after the launch and was back here by airmail another three days later.

“The winning entry did the whole trip there and back in about the time it takes for a second class letter to go to Scotland.

“We were amazed – the only way a balloon could have gone further is to have turned up at the North Pole with Father Christmas.”

Winner of the top prize of a full-sized hot air balloon champagne flight for two for the furthest travelled balloon was builder Mick Haynes, of MDH Construction, Nuthall.

A separate prize of a 2GB ipod shuffle for the finder of the balloon was awarded to Per Ove Hjelme, of Valldal, Norway.

Other race entries came back from as far afield as Hull and a wood in Worksop, a little closer to home.

Winner Mick Haynes said: “I am really made up - I do not usually win anything but I spend a lot of time up scaffolding, so I have a head for heights.”