Ab­seil a tall or­der for height-fear­ing mayor

De­scent from Spin­naker for chil­dren’s char­ity

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A MAYOR was forced to over­come his fear of heights when he ab­seiled down a tall build­ing for char­ity.

Che­sham’s mayor Peter Hud­son ab­seiled down the 170m tall Spin­naker Tower in Portsmouth on Fri­day, Au­gust 28 in aid of one of his may­oral char­i­ties Dream­flight.

Mr Hud­son said: “It was ter­ri­fy­ing at the top wait­ing to go out onto the plat­form hun­dreds of feet up. At one point as I swung my legs over the plat­form I thought I might not be able to do it, my fear of heights is so great, but I man­aged to over­come my fears by con­cen­trat­ing on the rea­son I was rais­ing money, for the kids that will ben­e­fit from the won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence that Dream­flight makes pos­si­ble.

“Once I started the de­scent, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The only sig­nif­i­cant is­sue came about half way down when my rope got caught on a bolt and I had to free it, which re­sulted in me drop­ping a few feet quite quickly! I also found that my rope hand (feed­ing the rope to de­scend) quickly be­came very tired and to­wards the end I was com­ing down faster than I would have liked as well as be­ing buf­feted by the wind.”

He added: “About a dozen friends and fam­ily came along to sup­port me on the day which was great and re­ally helped give me the courage to see the ab­seil through.

“I’m glad I over­came my fears and went through with the ab­seil, but I don’t think I’ll be rush­ing back for another go any­time soon! How­ever, af­ter watch­ing me, my 21-yearold step­daugh­ter now fancies a go!”

Dream­flight, based in Amer­sham, takes se­ri­ously-ill and dis­abled chil­dren to Or­lando for the hol­i­day of a life­time vis­it­ing the theme parks, to bring some fun and joy to chil­dren whose ill­nesses cause pain, dis­tress and dis­rup­tion to their lives.

The char­ity has been

Che­sham Mayor Peter Hud­son takes the plunge from the 170m tall Spin­naker Tower, inset op­er­at­ing since 1986 and has helped more than 5,000 chil­dren so far.

How­ever, even with gen­er­ous dis­counts from the air­lines and vol­un­teer doc­tors and nurses, it still costs more than £3,000 per child to ex­pe­ri­ence a once-in-a-life­time trip.

Mr Hud­son’s ab­seil has raised about £1,100 for the char­ity.

The pre­vi­ous week he raised £1,400 for the char­ity by or­gan­is­ing a char­ity quiz night hosted by Rus­sell Grant.

To spon­sor him visit www. j u s t g i v i n g . c o m/ Che­shamMayor.

To watch a video of Mr Hud­son’s ab­seil visit www. get­bucks.co.uk. THE Red En­sign was hoisted at the old County Hall to hon­our the coun­try’s sea­far­ers.

A group of Buck­ing­hamshire’s re­tired sea­men raised the flag to mark na­tional Mer­chant Navy Day on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 3.

County coun­cil chair­man Bill Chap­ple was be­hind the ini­tia­tive and was keen to hon­our the UK’s mer­chant navy.

Mr Chap­ple said: “We may be the fur­thest you can get from the sea in Buck­ing­hamshire, but we’re an is­land na­tion and we rely on the men and women of our Mer­chant Navy for 90% of our im­ports – in­clud­ing half the food we eat – and I want to pay trib­ute to them.”

The chair­man held a minute’s si­lence in mem­ory of Mer­chant Navy sea­men who died dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

On Septem­ber 3 1939 – the first day of the war – the SS Athe­nia was the first mer­chant ship to be tor­pe­doed with the loss of 128 pas­sen­gers and crew.

Among the re­tired Mer­chant Navy per­son­nel who stood in si­lence were Roger Taplin, from Lit­tle Mar­low, who served on the Queen El­iz­a­beth in the 1950s, and Keith Green­way, from Ayles­bury, a re­search of­fi­cer with the Barry branch of the Mer­chant Navy As­so­ci­a­tion.

Later in the day Keith, who has com­piled an archive of the county’s Mer­chant Navy per­son­nel serv­ing in both world wars, laid a wreath to hon­our sea­far­ers at the war me­mo­rial in Mar­ket Square, Ayles­bury.

Other vet­eran sea­men who watched the fla­grais­ing in­cluded Stu­art Shields, from Ha­zle­mere, with 40 years ser­vice, and Peter Smith, from Monks Ris­bor­ough, who has eight years ser­vice.

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