Norfolk’s daring great-grandmother set to abseil from church tower again

Mollie Gooch, 84, from Wendling, abseiled All Saint Church in Necton, in 2015. Picture: Matthew Ushe

Mollie Gooch, 84, from Wendling, abseiled All Saint Church in Necton, in 2015. Picture: Matthew Usher.

While many octogenarians may be knitting, drinking tea and pruning the roses this summer great-grandmother Mollie Gooch will be abseiling down a Norfolk church tower - and not for the first time.

81 year old great grandma Molly Gooch from Wendling, abseiled All Saint Church in Necton, to raise m

81 year old great grandma Molly Gooch from Wendling, abseiled All Saint Church in Necton, to raise money for the church. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Mrs Gooch has always been one to embrace big challenges in life, not least when she battled cancer just two years ago.

And on July 21 the 84 year old, from Wendling, near Dereham, will be harnessed up and lowered over the edge of All Saints Church tower in Necton, a grade I listed, 14th century church near Swaffham.

The tower stands at over 70 feet tall, but heights have never been a problem for Mrs Gooch.

She said: 'My husband and I used to go hill walking a lot in the Lake District when we were younger, we scaled some pretty big mountains and I always loved it.'

Matthew Usher photo review of the year 2015 - 81 year old great grandma Molly Gooch from Wendling, a

Matthew Usher photo review of the year 2015 - 81 year old great grandma Molly Gooch from Wendling, abseiled All Saint Church in Necton, to raise money for the church. Picture: Matthew Usher.


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Mrs Gooch will undertake the feat to raise money for both the church and for Swaffham and Litcham home hospice - a charity which helped both her and her late husband while they underwent treatment for cancer.

Mrs Gooch was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, yet after multiple hospital visits and a big operation, this remarkable lady was climbing mountains in Norway just four months later. She plays table tennis, writes a monthly column in her village magazine, which she delivers herself door-to-door in Wendling, her home village for over 50 years, and still manages to find time to attend an art class every week.

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The abseiling event, which was last held at the church three years ago, will be a great moment for Mrs Gooch, according to her daughter Gillian Hobbs.

She said: 'This will be particularly special for mum. She wants to make people believe in themselves and to show whatever tragedies life throws at you, it is possible to overcome them. Mum wasn't going to give up without a fight. This abseil will be the icing on the cake.'

Mrs Gooch is looking forward to the event next month and hopes to raise more money than the £500 she did three years ago. On the day participants descend in groups and are supervised by an expert.

Mrs Gooch said: 'They advise us to walk down slowly, but I like to do a little jump like they do in the army.'

People are welcome to attend the event on the day and make donations.

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