Adrenaline junkie Anne, 83, leads tower abseil for charity

Raising money for EACH by a sailing down Norfolk Tower in Norwich, 83 year old great grandmother Ann

Raising money for EACH by a sailing down Norfolk Tower in Norwich, 83 year old great grandmother Anne Saunders.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Daredevil fundraisers braved a buffeting wind to abseil down one of Norwich's highest buildings for a children's charity.

Raising money for EACH by a sailing down Norfolk Tower in Norwich, William Duckworth puts on a not s

Raising money for EACH by a sailing down Norfolk Tower in Norwich, William Duckworth puts on a not so brave face.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

And leading the way on the 150-foot descent of the Norfolk Tower was 83-year-old Anne Saunders, to cheers and applause from friends and family below.

The great-grandmother-of-six was the first of her group to lower herself over the edge and down the side of the Surrey Street building.

Despite losing her footing in the strong winds, she was one of 30 abseilers to complete the challenges and raise more than £5,000 for East Anglian Children's Hospices.

'It was the scariest abseil I've done, but it was fun,' she said.


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'I didn't have a problem going over the edge, but, with the wind, I couldn't keep my feet on the wall and I started spinning around.'

Mrs Saunders, from Caister, added the Norfolk Tower abseil to her list of adrenaline-fuelled achievements.

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It already includes racing a powerboat, zip-wiring across Norwich City's Carrow Road stadium, flying a glider and doing three skydives. The 'recycled teenager' embarked on her extreme adventures following the death of her husband Dick in 1983, when she was 54, and has since made 'seize the day' her personal philosophy.

William Duckworth, 51, who followed Mrs Saunders over the side, said the abseil had given him a taste for adventure too.

'It was great. It was so windy, but I'd like to do it again.

'It would be nice to get a chance to enjoy it a bit more without being so nervous.'

Brothers Nick and David Hubbard, who run the nearby Surrey Tavern, also abseiled down the tower and ran an EACH day at the pub, with a raffle, pub quiz and a donation of 10pc of the day's takings. David Hubbard, 35, said he had already helped to raise more than £13,000 for EACH during his time as a John Lewis employee, and wanted to continue.

'I've been shown around the Quidenham hospice, and since then I've had a bit of a soft spot.

'It's a great charity and a really worthy cause,' he added.

EACH Norfolk fundraiser Gary Cook said the abseilers' efforts would allow the charity to continue its vital work with sick children and their families.

'We need to raise £5.75m a year to carry on the work in our hospices – that's £15,000 a day.

'Without the ordinary man or woman – or 83-year-old – in the street taking time to support us we couldn't do what we do,' he said.

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