‘Whirly bits’ don’t stop Shirl the Whirl!

High flyer...Shirley Price gives the thumbs-up to her 80th birthday skydive.

High flyer...Shirley Price gives the thumbs-up to her 80th birthday skydive.

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SKYDIVING gran Shirley Price, aka ‘Shirl the Whirl’, celebrated her 80th birthday by jumping out of an aeroplane at an altitude of 12,000ft.

Mrs Price, from Bodle Street Green near Hailsham, did her parachute jump above Headcorn Airfield in Kent on Monday, September 3.

The gran raised much needed funds for ESAB (the East Sussex Association of Blind and Partially Sighted People) where she is chairman of the recently-formed Friends of ESAB and treasurer of the Tuesday Social Club.

She was joined at Headcorn by two of the 1,700 blind and partially sighted people who ESAB currently support – 40-year-old Paul Millross from Horsebridge and David Howell, 59, from Westham. 

Mrs Price said: “It was an incredible experience – absolutely amazing.

“I loved every minute of it, well, almost. I wasn’t too keen on some of the whirly bits we did once the parachute had deployed, but otherwise it was brilliant. We spent much longer in freefall than I expected, which was great, but it was also extremely gratifying to see the chute open.” 

Some £8,000 has been raised as a result of the charity jump, to date. More funds could be raised if support is given to a fundraising dinner at the Bodle Street Village Hall on November 3.

A film of the skydive will be shown at the event alongside the Pirates of Penzance movie. It’s hoped this will bring the skydiving trio close to their original £10,000 target.

Mrs Price added: “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us with sponsorship and donations. If ever any of us had any doubts about going through with the skydive, they were quickly dispelled by people’s generosity. ESAB relies very much on public donations to keep its valuable services going, so we’re delighted that our efforts have been so well supported.”    

Sponsorship and donations to support the fundraising for ESAB can be made online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/shirleyprice  or by cheque, made payable to FESAB, and sent to Shirley at Garth Cottage, Bodle Street Green, Hailsham BN27 4UA.