CHERRY

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PILOT AND FORMER EXOTIC DANCER ’’THE PINK PILOT’’

MEET CHERRY, A FORMER EXOTIC DANCER TURNED PILOT. FAST WOMEN SPENT THE DAY WITH HER AT HER HOME ON THE ISLE OF SHEPPY, TRYING ON THE NEW COLLECTION AND CHATTING ABOUT HER WORK LIFE BALANCE. CHERRY IS AN OLD SOUL AND AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FACTS. SHE TOOK US FLYING IN A 1957 PIPER SUPER CUB OVER LONDON WHICH WAS A NEXT LEVEL EXPERIENCE AND MORE. IT WAS A PLEASURE TO BE ABLE TO LEARN ABOUT HER LOVE OF OLD PLANES AND GAIN AN INSIGHT INTO HER DAILY ROUTINE AS SHE EMBARKS UPON BECOMING A COMMERCIAL PILOT.

FW: IN A NUTSHELL TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU?

CHERRY: I am a 25yr old who loves pole dancing, motorbikes and airplanes. i love environmental science, nature and travelling…. i am NOW beginning my path towards becoming a commercial pilot.

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WHAT DOES YOUR HOME SAY ABOUT YOU?

CHERRY: QUIRKY, ECCENTRIC AND FRIENDLY

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FW: HOW DO YOU DEFINE HAPPINESS?

CHERRY: self belief, persistance, a list of dreams or goals to keep your brain active so you’re always striving towards something.

FW: what makes you happy?

CHERRY: a simple life. I LIVE IN A caravan, on the top of a cliff facing the sea. i don’t have many clothes or possessions but i have a lot of decorations which means there is something interesting to look at in every nook and cranny. THE DECOR is pink and crazy and reflects all the countries i have travelled to, IT might be cluttered but my life is quite streamlined and all i need is here. i have moved hoME 24 times SO THIS IS THE LONGEST I HAVE EVER LIVED ANYWHERE.

WHY PINK?

CHERRY: THE PINK PILOT CAME ABOUT WHEN I WAS DOING MY PRIVATE PILOT LICENSE TRAINING. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A BIT OF A TOMBOY BUT ENTERING INTO THE WORLD OF AVIATION BROUGHT ME BACK IN TOUCH WITH MY FEMININE SIDE, MOST LIKELY DUE TO HOW FEW WOMEN THERE ARE IN AVIATION. I LOVE BEING FEMININE BUT ALSO LIVING AND WORKING IN A MANS WORLD. WE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO GIVE UP OUR GIRLY SIDE TO FLY PLANES OR RIDE MOTORCYCLES!

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FW: WHO DO YOU ADMIRE AND WHY?

CHERRY: I ADMIRE WOMEN WHO HAVE WORKED HARd TO ACHIEVE THEIR DREAMS! YOU DON’T HAVE TO DEPEND ON ANYONE ELSE, SO I ADMIRE ENTREPRENEURIAL WOMEN WHO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO ACHIEVE THEIR DREAMS

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3 THINGS NOT TO MISS ON THE ISLE OF SHEPPY?

CHERRY: LEYSDOWN-ON-SEA! SHEPPY IS ALSO THE BIRTHPLACE OF BRITISH AVIATION, WITH THE FIRST POWERED FLIGHT BEING HERE WHEN THE WRIGHT BROTHERS CAME OVER TO THE UK AND COLLABORATED WITH EARLY AVIATION PIONEERS. THE FIRST AIR RACE WAS ALSO HERE, AROUND THE ISLAND. LIVING ON THE ISLE OF SHEPPY IS ALSO LIKE GOING BACK IN TIME, TO THE 70’S, EVERYTHING IS SLOW PACED AND OLD FASHIONED. THERE ARE LOTS OF LOCAL BUSINESSES WHICH PEOPLE LOVE TO SUPPORT LIKE A LOVELY BAKERY AND FARM SHOP AND THE HIGH STREET HERE IS ALWAYS BUSY WHICH i LOVE.

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WHAT LED YOU TO START POLE DANCING? NECESSITY OR CURIOSITY?

CHERRY: I STARTED POLE DANCING OUT OF NeceSsity. i had a part TIme job paying £5.50 an hour and just like most people i couldn’t afford to live so i delved into the world of exotic dancing. it transformed my life and meant i could afford to live on my own, travel the world and pay for my pilot training debt free. i wouldn’t recommend it to anyone because it can be a dangerous industry but it had its purpose in my case.

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FW: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START FLYING?

CHERRY: I WAS FIRST INSPIRED TO FLY WHEN I WAS BACKPACKING SOLO AROUND AFRICA WHEN I WAS 19, I WAS THERE FOR 9 MONTHS, SEEING FIRST HAND THE AMAZING BUSH PILOTS FLYING SMALL CESSNAS AND DECIDED THAT WAS THE DREAM JOB FOR ME! I WENT TO AN INTERNET CAFE SOMEWHERE IN MALAWI AND BOOKED MY FIRST FLYING LESSON FOR THE WEEK I RETURNED TO ENGLAND! I’VE NEVER LOOKED BACK.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM DESTINATION TO FLY TO?

CHERRY: MY DREAM DESTINATION WOULD BE PAPUA NEW GUINEA, THE MALDIVES IN A SEA PLANE, OR THE FLORIDA KEYS!

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE OF CLOTHING FROM FAST WOMEN?

CHERRY: THE YELLOW JUMPSUIT! I’M NOW LIVING IN THEM, WHEN RIDING MY MOTORBIKE AS WELL AS FLYING OPEN COCKPIT. THEY ARE BEING USED HOW THEY WERE DESIGNED TO BE USED. CURRENTLY COVERED IN OIL WHEN IM CLAMBERING IN AND OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT OR ON THE FLOOR UNDERNEATH THE PLANE.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: CAYLEE HANKINS @ALITTLEPICKMEUP

VIDEOGRAPHER: JAMES COX @BLACKDOTSVIDEO

ART DIRECTION: AME PEARCE @FAST_WOMEN

SHOT AND FILMED ON THE ISLE OF SHEPPY, AND DAMYNS HALL AERODROME

ALL IMAGES AND VIDEO CONTENT ARE COPYRIGHT OF THE FAST WOMEN COLLECTIVE LTD.