Jean (83) abseils down the side of city cathedral

Underhay 1

Four people from Thorney—Jean Underhay, Dorothy Halfhide, Jake Wing and Ken Sheraton—abseiled down the side of Peterborough Cathedral this summer, helping to raise £38,000 for charity.

Jean (83) writes about her experience here:

Many years ago, when we first came to this area, we saw people abseiling down the blank Woolworths wall and I thought to myself, ‘That looks fun.’ Two years ago I was with the Ground Team when the Cathedral first put on an abseiling event. There was a lady older than me doing it. So earlier this year, when the Cath-edral was doing another charity abseil, I promptly signed up.

When the day came, friend John drove me in and we met several friends and my son, Jonathan, who had come to support. Most importantly, the Derby Mountain Rescue Team was there to put us into our harness and cope with the ropes.

Then onto the thing I was dreading, the steps up the tower. Friend Mandy and one of the rescue people came with me as the steps were in a spiral so I could only see about two or three steps at a time. So up I went.

At the top was a lady from the team who attached a gadget to the harness. She kept hold of the blue safety rope and gently urged me back to the ledge. I must admit to a frisson of apprehension at that point, knowing there was 150 feet of nothing below me. Then I was over the ledge and feeding the white rope to guide my speed. I was on my way.

Dorothy Halfhide had come down half an hour earlier, with such grace and dignity that I wanted to emulate her, not do a circular dance as the Dean had done some time before. My friends down below were cheering me on. I took great care going over the carvings, didn’t want to risk damaging anything. Then I was down.

It had been exhilarating. So many people had sponsored me, there was no way I was going to chicken out at the last moment. A member of the charity gave me a certificate and the Mayor gave me a brooch with the City of Peterborough coat of arms. Itreasure both items. It had been a lovely day.

Jean Underhay, Jake Wing, Dorothy Halfhide and Ken Sheraton 37,500 for Spina Bifia and Hydrcephalus


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