A WEST Kilbride flight attendant told how she met the rich and famous as the elite Concorde crew.

Audrey Kolon sat down for a chat with the News to look back on her 11 years working on the supersonic jet as British Airways celebrates its 100th birthday.

Audrey rubbed shoulders with stars including Elton John, Cher, Barbara Cartland, Liam Neeson, Margaret Thatcher, David Frost and John McEnroe during her time in the skies.

Now in her 60s, Audrey remembers its sonic boom take off as she travelled at 1,315mph - with journeys from London to New York taking just three hours and 15 minutes.

Audrey says she was privileged to serve some of the world’s biggest celebrities but treated every passenger the same regardless of their celebrity status.

She did reveal though that one traveller perhaps got some extra special service - Sir Paul McCartney.

Audrey said: "We always knew when the McCartney's were coming as five vegetarian meals were booked. Even though it was booked under a different alias each time, we knew it was them.

"I was always a fan of Paul, so it was always a little bit exciting serving him, and of course Linda was very nice as well.

"Christopher Reeve, who was the original Superman, was also a pleasure to serve. He was always very friendly.

"The passengers were always varied, with celebrities, politicians and even royalty such as Queen Noor of Jordan and Princess Michael of Kent, as well as athletes like Martina Navratilova and Rudolf Nureyev."

She added: "It was a fantastic experience.

"Working on the Concorde was like working with a big family, everyone got to know each other really well.

"It was unlike anything there is now. The air cabin crew were treated exceptionally well and the places we got to see were incredible.

"No expense was spared for the passengers, the food and drink was supreme. It was about making sure that the overall experience for customers was outstanding, including champagne and canapes.

"It was unlike serving on any other aircraft as there was only two seats on either side of the aisle, so it was very narrow.

"It meant you really had to work as a team to be able to manoeuvre around the plane whilst it was moving.

"It wasn't all glamour thought, it was a lot of hard work and heavy lifting and with the plane travelling so fast it was hard to push the trolleys up the aisle.

"You had to be very organised and know what you were doing. Because the flights were so quick there was no time for standing around."

Audrey says nothing compares to Concorde’s sleek style and flare.

The first flight of Concorde was from Toulouse in 1969 but it was in 1976 that British Airways announced their commercial supersonic travel from London to Bahrain and France to Rio De Janeiro.

Famed for its needle-shaped nose, the Concorde was designed to penetrate the atmosphere in flight with minimum resistance, with the nose able to be lowered.

Concorde's four Rolls Royce turbo jet engines helped fuel its top speed, allowing it to go supersonic and cruise along the very edge of space.

One of the beauties of travelling long haul with Concorde was that passengers did not suffer from jetlag, and although it was a much shorter time in the air than regular plane travel, Audrey says it was every bit as demanding.

The speed of the flight to New York meant that with the time difference passengers would arrive at their destination before they even left.

Audrey says that there is little to compare to the Concorde flights now, with nothing offering the same speed or prestige.

She said: "Flying in general has changed. I remember on the Concorde about 90 per cent of the passengers would be smoking on the flight and we would give out after-dinner cigars.

"You couldn't even imagine that now."

It was in 1972 when Audrey took up her first job with British Airways, working on 737's and 757's before joining the Concorde crew.

She became an air hostess after working as an au pair in Bavaria and enjoyed a 36-year stint in the skies.

She said: “I didn’t want to go to university after completing my A levels. I studied German and French at A Level, and other modern languages, including Russian and Italian.

“I applied for the job with British airways and I got the job.

"I had already been back from Bavaria at this point and working as a barmaid, so I think it helped that I had been working in serving people.

"They basically offered me my first secure employment and I loved every minute of what followed."

Audrey even met her husband Walter while working on Concorde in 1982, when he was a passenger travelling to New York.

It was after leaving the airline that she moved to Scotland with Walter and was drawn to beautiful Portencross after viewing it from the boat to Arran.

Concorde ceased operation in 2003.

The retired BA service planes are now on display in museums across the world, including at the National Museum of Flight in East Fortune near Edinburgh, which Audrey also donated her first stewardess uniform to.