Daredevil great-grandmother abseils down Pembroke Dock church tower

Daredevil great-grandmother abseils down Pembroke Dock church tower

DAREDEVIL: 92-year-old Eileen Williams abseiled down St John's Church in Pembroke Dock on Tuesday (September 10) afternoon. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney. (1093002)

FANTASTIC FEAT: 92-year-old Eileen Williams was raising money for Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney. (1093004)

DIZZY HEIGHTS: Eileen Williams with experts from local steeplejack firm C.A.N. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney. (1093006)

FAN BASE: Paddy Pratt, who also volunteers at the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust's coffee shop, showing her support. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney. (1093008)

CHEERY CROWD: People lined Bush Street to watch the abseil. PICTURE: Western Telegraph. (1093010)

First published in News

IF it’s not aqua aerobics, keep fit or volunteering at Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust’s coffee shop, it’s abseiling down a church tower – and not for the first time either.

Crowds of people lined Bush Street to witness 92-year-old Eileen Williams, from Pembroke Dock, abseil down the tower of St John’s Church on Tuesday (September 11) afternoon.

Even managing to pause for a wave, she descended to claps and cheers from the crowd, who sang For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow.

Grandmother and great grandmother Eileen is no stranger to daredevil activities, nor heights, having completed the abseil 20 years ago in aid of St John’s Ambulance.

“The worst part is going up the steps to the top of the tower – it’s quite a narrow spiral,” Eileen said.

She added: “I’m a tom boy. I’ve been a tom boy since I was born. If there were any trees to climb, I was up it, anything boy-ish, I was up for it.

“I have been a tom boy all my life and I can’t change. My mother used to try to make me a lady – and my grandmother too.”

This time round Eileen, a Pembroke Dock resident for the last 56 years, was raising money for the town’s Sunderland Trust.

She remembers the Sunderlands flying into Pembroke Dock, back in the days when the water used to come up as far as the police station.

“It was a beautiful sight,” she said. “I used to get my two girls from school and we used to run down to Front Street because the Sunderlands used to come in at 4pm.

Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust project manager John Evans said: “Eileen’s a great supporter of us and we are delighted and in awe of what she’s taking on here today.

“We have a wonderful team of volunteers and Eileen epitomises what volunteering for the Sunderland Trust is all about.”

Eileen’s son Gary Williams said: “The whole family is very proud. There’s no stopping her – she’s a very independent, strong woman and we are very proud of her.”

The event was organised by Peter Kraus, from the Over the Rainbow Dream Come True charity.


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