Action Gran to take the plunge

Shirley skydive SUS-170711-125255001
Shirley skydive SUS-170711-125255001

Unstoppable daredevil Shirley Price is planning to mark her 85th birthday by leaping 4,000 feet off Mont Blanc in the French Alps.

Her 15-30 minute ‘flight’, in tandem with a paragliding expert from Chamonix, takes place on Christmas Eve, and will raise funds for the East Sussex Association of Blind and Partially Sighted People (ESAB) where she is a Vice Patron, chairman of the charity’s Friends and chairman of the Tuesday Club which organises social events for ESAB members.

Shirley, from Bodle Street Green, near Hailsham, is known locally as ‘Shirl the Whirl’, and has made something of a habit of celebrating significant birthdays with high-flying stunts.

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.

Her exploits have helped her to raise tens of thousands of pounds for charity – a fact recognised in 2013 when Shirley was awarded an MBE.

She is hoping that her latest daring deed will bring in at least another £10,000.

She said: “ESAB desperately needs the money so that it can continue with its valuable work of supporting blind and partially sighted people in the county. I’ve been a long-time supporter of the charity but came to appreciate it even more a few years ago when I underwent various eye operations myself, one of which was a bit touch-and-go about whether it would leave me permanently blind in one eye. Fortunately it all turned out ok, but it reinforced my determination to continue to support the work of ESAB.”

Sponsorship and donations can be made online at or by cheque, made payable to Friends of ESAB, sent to Shirley at ESAB, Prospects House, George Street, Hailsham BN27 1AD.