A Remarkable Event Caused by the Wind

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Listen to the story and type the exact words you hear into the boxes.


repeat the procedure
tremendous gust of wind
wrapped round
swept her
borne aloft
using a Humpty Dumpty
have a harness strapped on you

To see somebody else in danger and not to be able to do anything about it is a most unpleasant experience. When, as in this case, it is your own daughter who is in danger, the feeling of helplessness is even more acute. On the day when Gerry and his daughter went to make a film for a children's television programme called Magpie, just such a situation arose.


Here are some points for you to track the idea of the story:

  • Gerry's daughter, Christine, has flown across the Channel twice in a balloon.
  • When using a Humpty Dumpty balloon, the pilot wears a harness attached to the balloon.
  • When Gerry and his daughter went to Teddington, they weren't keen to begin ballooning immediately, because it was windy.
  • They attached a rope to the quick-release devices.
  • When Gerry shouted 'Cut', Christine undid her quick-releases.
  • When the rope was snatched out of the hands of those holding it by the wind, it wrapped round Christine and picked her up.
  • When Gerry saw Christine being carried away, he shouted and tried to follow her.
  • The rope unwrapped itself from round Christine when she hit the side of the studio.
  • Gerry was angry with the ambulance men because he was very agitated.
  • Now Christine is perfectly recovered from her accident.

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You have heard the story, so now please answer the following questions.

      1. What is exceptional about Gerry's daughter as far as ballooning is concerned?
      2. How does one move along when using a Humpty Dumpty balloon?
      3. What did 'Brainy' Dodds do in 1920?
      4. Why did Gerry and his daughter go to Teddington?
      5. Why did the cameramen want Christine to do a little lift-off in spite of the poor weather conditions?
      6. What happened at the moment when Christine was just coming down to the ground?
      7. How far was Christine below the balloon when it carried her off across the tennis courts?
      8. Where did she eventually fall?
      9. What condition did Gerry find Christine in when he reached her?
      10. What saved Christine from breaking her skull?

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