‘Shirl the Whirl’ flies high again

Shirley Price Paragliding SUS-180801-120321001
Shirley Price Paragliding SUS-180801-120321001
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Local ‘Action Gran’ Shirley Price marked her 85th birthday by paragliding over Mont Blanc.

‘Shirl the Whirl’ as she is known by her local community in Bodle Street Green, near Hailsham, took the plunge from 4,000 feet up in the French Alps to raise funds for the East Sussex Association of Blind and Partially Sighted People (ESAB).

Shirley is Vice Patron as well as chairman of both the Friends of ESAB and its Tuesday Club which organises social events.

The tandem paraglide was the latest in a series of high-flying stunts that the dare-devil pensioner has undertaken on landmark birthdays to support the work of the charity which provides vital services to blind and partially sighted people in the county.

At 70 she went parasailing. At 75 she did a wingwalk. And at 80 she sky-dived from a plane 12,000 feet above Headcorn Airfield in Kent. Shirley’s exploits have raised tens of thousands of pounds and contributed to her being awarded an MBE in 2013.

She said: “This was undoubtedly the scariest of the lot, particularly the take-off. I was told I had to run at 20mph towards the edge otherwise we wouldn’t get airborne and I would slide 1,500 feet down the mountain. I ran as fast as my little legs would carry me which, with the help of a two men either side of me, was sufficient to get us up in the air. From then on it was absolutely brilliant, with staggering views that I will never forget.”

The paraglide has so far raised more than £4,000 and with more pledges, Shirley is hoping to get closer to her £10,000 target. Sponsorship and donations can be made online at www.virginmoneygiving.com/ShirleyPrice1 or by cheque to Friends of ESAB, sent to Shirley at ESAB, Prospects House, George Street, Hailsham BN27 1AD.