ELDERLY astronauts from care homes across Tees Valley took a trip to outer space during a recent visit to Redcar.
The intrepid explorers from the Hill Care Group’s Briarwood Care Home, Eston, Hazelgrove Court Care Home, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Ingleby Care Home, Ingleby Barwick, and Mandale House Care Home, Thornaby, all gathered at TunedIn, on Majuba Road, for blast off.
Their intergalactic adventure was made possible thanks to a pop-up planetarium from Wonder Dome, which provides space shows for schools, care homes, and other groups.
More than 40 residents and staff enjoyed the show, titled “We Are Aliens”, which was paid for by an anonymous friend of Hazelgrove Court Care Home.
Sharon Lewis, activities coordinator from Hazelgrove Court, also extended an invitation to the pop-up planetarium to John E Batty Primary School, in Redcar, who sent 25 year 5 pupils along to gaze at the stars.
Sharon also registered all the participants with NASA, with everyone receiving a boarding pass to a future mission to Mars, which they presented as they entered the planetarium.
She said: “I thought it was an amazing experience for the residents.
“They all enjoyed meeting the Wonder Dome presenter, Ben Casey, and loved watching the show with all the stars.
“Hazelgrove Court resident Ted Wilkinson told his daughter he loved the trip. He felt he was inside a giant star filled balloon.”
Colin Bulpitt, 85, a resident at Hazelgrove Court, said: “I feel like I’ve been to the moon and back. I wish it had been a longer flight.”
Fellow Hazelgrove Court resident, Joyce Tibbett, 89, added: “What an amazing adventure. I feel like a scientist now.”
Mavis Burke, 82, a resident from Briarwood Care Home, said: “It was very cleverly done and put together. I liked seeing all the stars in the Milky Way.”
Paul Swallow, 59, also from Briarwood, added: “My wife would have loved this. She enjoyed watching anything to do with space.”
Sylvia Wheeler, 89, from Ingleby Care Home, said: “What a fantastic show. It was really interesting. I would love to visit Mars.”
After the show, Hazelgrove Court resident Ellen Else, 91, a former school head teacher, stayed at TunedIn to meet the pupils from John E Batty Primary School.
Meanwhile, several other residents, including Lee Walton, 51, and Arthur Lingard, 80, both from Mandale House Care Home, and Ian Pearson, 78, from Ingleby Care Home, walked into Redcar to get fish and chips and a lemon top ice cream.
Ian said: “It would have been rude to go to Redcar and not have fish n chips.”