A FAMILY from the sunshine state of Florida had fun in the snow when they returned home to Huddersfield to visit family.
Dean O’Flaherty, 37, was back home in Dalton for the first time in 16 years, after moving to the United States to follow his true love – skydiving.
And his visit with wife Jessica, 26 and his young son Aidan, two, coincided with the worst snowfall to hit the town for 20 years.
It was the first time Florida-born Jessica and Aidan had experienced snow.
Dean’s parents had been due to visit him in Florida last year but could not make the trip when the travel firm Travel City Direct went bust last September.
So Dean planned a return to his home town and was delighted to see the snow, as he and his family enjoyed a day out at Castle Hill.
It was a world of difference from the weather the family normally experience in Titusville, Florida, where Dean has established himself as one of the world’s leading skydiving instructors and photographers.
Dean was born in Huddersfield in 1971 and went to school in Rawthorpe. He later studied at the former Huddersfield Technical College and then worked as an attendant at Huddersfield Sports Centre.
He started skydiving in 1989 with a charity parachute jump and after a stint working in the United States at Camp America, he moved to Blackpool to be close to the parachute centre in Cockerham.
In 1993 he followed his dream and moved to Florida, getting a job at a skydive centre. He became a skydiving instructor in 1995 and now works as chief instructor and photographer at the Skydive Space Centre in Titusville – 10 miles from the Kennedy Space Centre.
He said “I moved to America because of my skydiving. Its expensive to do it in the UK. The weather is better in the States and so is the pay.”
The family enjoyed a snow day at Castle Hill where they went sledging on the small hills and played in the snow.
Dean said: “Aidan enjoyed the snow. He is a Florida baby so his is not quite used to the cold.
“Jessica was also happy to see the snow. Its the first time she has seen it and its also her first visit to the UK. She really is enjoying it.”
The O’ Flahertys will are currently on a 10-day holiday and will return to the sunshine state later this week.