Horace is perfect name for the Air Ambulance

George Howden, his sister Jessica, mum Jo and Horace the tortoise meet pilot Tim Taylor (left) and co-pilot Llewis Ingamells
George Howden, his sister Jessica, mum Jo and Horace the tortoise meet pilot Tim Taylor (left) and co-pilot Llewis Ingamells

Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire Air Amblulance’s new helicopter is to be named Horace – after a tortoise.

Eight-year-old George Howden from Lincolnshire chose the name after his beloved pet tortoise who watches Helicopter Heroes with him.

Marie Williamson, from the charity, said: “Most people know that the air ambulance helicopter is affectionately known as the ‘Ambucopter’.

“But this name refers to all of the helicopters that we have flown over the years.

“The outgoing helicopter was called Hector, so what could we call the new helicopter?

“To help us choose a suitable name, we appealed to some very special people – the children of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

“We knew that they would be able to come up with some fantastic names and they didn’t disappoint

“Among all of the great suggestions, George’s really stood out.

“We loved this suggestion – and so did our judging panel – so we decided that the new helicopter will be called Horace.”

George, his sister Jessica, mum Jo, grandmother Joyce, and of course, Horace the tortoise, were invited to the charity’s operational base at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire to see the new helicopter for themselves.

Pilot Tim Taylor, said: “It was great to meet George and his family, and of course Horace.

“It was the very first time that we have ever had a visit from an animal at our airbase and it caused quite a commotion amongst the crew, who were able to meet George and Horace in between life-saving missions.”

During his visit, George met Tim and the co-pilot Llewis Ingamells, paramedics Roger Linnell and John McKenzie and doctor Chris Gough, who showed him some of the training aids that the crew use, including their interactive SIM-man training dummy, Elvis, and a full body skeleton showing not only bones but also muscles and major arteries.

George was also able to wave to the crew as the helicopter leapt into the air to attend another patient in need of urgent care.

George said: “When I found out I had won the competition, I was so excited and even though you couldn’t really tell, I know that Horace was too.

“I had an amazing day meeting Horace the helicopter and all of the crew.

“And I’m really proud that I can say that the Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance is named the same as my tortoise.

“I really love helicopters, so it was really cool to see the air ambulance and learn about all the equipment and what the crew do every day when they save lives.”

The new helicopter is the charity’s fourth since 1994 and on average it will called to three potentially life-saving missions every day of the year.

Marie continued: “Every year its costs £2.5 million to keep our Ambucopter in the skies.

“This is only made possible thanks to the continued support of the people in the communities we serve who help to raise this money.

“We regularly get involved with local schools, teachers and students who can all help us fundraise and raise awareness of the air ambulance.”

If you would like to arrange a fundraising event at your school, please email enquiries@ambucopter.org.uk or visit the website at www.ambucopter.org.uk to download a fundraising pack.

Alternatively, you can donate directly through the website.

n Gainsborough and District Decorative and Fine Arts Society celebrated their ruby (40th) anniversary with a special lunch at Gainsborough Golf Club.

Thea Butterworth played the harp while guests arrived and Lars Tharp from BBC1’s Antiques Roadshow was the guest speaker.

Mr Tharp also presented books relating Lincoln Cathdral to long standing heritage volunteers in recognition of their work.

Jillian Horberry, chairman of the society, said: “It was a wonderful occasion for the society.”

At the society’s latest regular monthly meeting, the guest speaker was author and historian Dr Tracy Borman