'Fly high, Reg' - Broads businessman and aviation enthusiast dies aged 89

Reginald Parsons, of Horning, died earlier this month at the age of 89

Reginald Parsons, of Horning, died earlier this month at the age of 89 - Credit: Supplied

The loved ones of a popular businessman and aviation enthusiast have paid an apt and heartfelt sentiment as they said: “Fly high.”

Reginald Parsons, of Horning, near Wroxham, died earlier this month at the age of 89. 

The father-of-three, affectionally known as “Reg”, was well-known in the area for launching the Fli-Hi Aircraft Simulation Flights in Lower Street in 2020. 

The venture celebrated his lifelong love of aircraft and all things flying since training as a Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter pilot during his national service. 

It was just a fortnight into his conscription when he volunteered for aircrew. His first posting was to RAF Hornchurch and he would later join the Royal Canadian Air Force Station Gimli in Canada.  

On his return to England, and after leaving the RAF, it would be another 30 years before he returned to flying. 

Reginald Parsons, of Horning, died earlier this month at the age of 89

Reginald Parsons, of Horning, died earlier this month at the age of 89 - Credit: Supplied

Mr Parsons was born in Tottenham but more than 50 years ago when he and his late wife Thelma went to Horning on holiday they fell in love with the village and immediately upped sticks. 

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Moving from Hertfordshire, the couple opened a retail business, a bed and breakfast and ran a day boat hire business. 

In 1982, they leased the Lion Inn in nearby Thurne, followed by the Nelson Head in Horsey in 1987, before moving to Sutton in 1990 to open a fishery.  

They once acquired the famous racing yacht Madie and spent many happy hours competing and socialising with fellow sailors.  

The couple moved several times within the Broads area, but after Thelma died in 2002, Mr Parsons was eager to return to Horning. 

“Where their hearts belonged,” his family said. 

During his later years, Mr Parsons volunteered for the Samaritans and for the Museum of the Broads, as well as taking part in many hobbies including fly fishing, singing with several local choirs, and flying. He was also a regular contributor to the EDP letters' page and enjoyed the discussions his letters would provoke with other readers

Mr Parsons died on June 9 and donated his body to medical research. 

A farewell service will take place at St Benedict's Church, Horning, at 1pm on Tuesday, July 5. No flowers or black tie. Donations to Samaritans in memory of Mr Parsons.