Monday 24 October 2016

Abseiler Doris, 101, feels no fear

Published 12/07/2015 | 15:11

101-year-old Doris Long as she abseils down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
101-year-old Doris Long as she abseils down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
Great-grandmother Doris Long, 101, during an earlier abseil at Portsmouth's Guildhall Square

A 101-year-old woman has said she felt no fear as she broke her own world record for the oldest abseiler by descending 94 metres down the side of a viewing tower.

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Wind and rain did not deter Doris Long, who has been honoured with an MBE for her charity fundraising, as she abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

She last performed the feat on her 100th birthday in May 2014.

The pensioner, nicknamed Daring Doris, who has previously abseiled alongside new Top Gear host Chris Evans, took up the challenge once again to raise money for the Rowans Hospice in Waterlooville.

Ms Long, who first abseiled at the age of 85, said: "I don't feel afraid and never have, I just have a placid nature."

The centenarian, who is 5ft tall and weighs eight stone, added: "I have a look down at the crowd, I am normally looking to see how the other person is getting on."

Ms Long, who has a daughter, three grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and two great great grandchildren, received cheers and applause from the crowds below as a band played The Proclaimers' hit I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) as she reached the bottom of the tower.

After the abseil, she said: "It was very hard work, much harder than last year. It was so windy I swung about a bit but oh yes, I enjoyed it, I feel it's well worth it.

"My legs ache like anything and my right arm where I hold the rope and my hair is all sticking out."

Ms Long added that she was "living in hope" to be able to repeat the challenge next year when she will be 102.

Mother-of-two Jennie Watson, 42, from Locks Heath, who completed the abseil earlier in the day, said: "I am amazed, I think she's amazing, a real inspiration.

"You have to be quite agile to get the ropes down but it's the bravery more than anything. How she does it, I have no idea."

Karen Kay, events fundraiser at the Rowans Hospice, said: "Doris is an amazing lady and a huge inspiration. She has been abseiling for The Rowans Hospice for more than 10 years now and has raised over £11,000.

"We can't thank her enough for supporting local hospice care. Everyone at The Rowans Hospice wishes Doris all the best for this epic challenge."

Ms Long, from Hayling Island, who hopes to raise £1,000, wrote on her JustGiving page: "I first started abseiling at 85 years old and this will be my 16th abseil for the Hospice.

"The Rowans Hospice is my local hospice and all the care is given completely free of charge. Please help me to continue their wonderful care and support for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families."

To sponsor Doris Long, visit

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