Stukeley woman to zipwire 500ft above gorge for 80th birthday

08:27 26 February 2016

Wing Walker, Wendy Richmond, with daughter Lesley Richmond, on her 70th birthday.

Wing Walker, Wendy Richmond, with daughter Lesley Richmond, on her 70th birthday.

Archant

A 79-year-old woman from Stukeley will speed across Europe’s highest and longest zip wire for her 80th birthday.

Wendy Richmond will travel up to 100 miles an hour at 500 ft when she wires a mile across an old slate mine at Bethesda in South Wales on April 10.

Ms Richmond, who is doing the wire with Zip World, will have to lie down face-forward in a sling to complete the run, but she is no stranger to adrenaline rushes.

For her 60th birthday she flew in a Tiger Moth, and her 70th was spent doing a wing-walk; standing on top of a plane from takeoff to landing.

“I’ve been doing things like this for a while,” she told The Post.

“My son said ‘How would you like to do that?’, and hopefully when I’m 90 I’ll find something else to do. Perhaps I’m mad.”

Ms Richmond has always loved flying, and has been up in a hot air balloon and a microlight too.

She said: “I love flying; I’ve always loved planes. When we lived in London I used to take the children to watch planes at Heathrow.

“The wing-walk was amazing. I wanted to do it for years. I saw a film with girls standing on a plane and thought ‘I want to do that’.

“I don’t think my family quite believed me,” she added.

“It’s easier than you think, but it took two hours to get the knots out of my hair.”

As well as fuelling her love for flying, her zip-wire adventure will also raise money for the Acorn Cancer Support Group.

Ms Richmond survived breast cancer and is now seven years clear.

The group meets once a month at venues in Huntingdon, St Ives and Ramsey, and helps to alleviate distress for cancer patients and their carers.

“I had breast cancer and a friend of my son asked me to go,” she said.

“I wasn’t really interested and wanted to get on with my life, but it’s great. We don’t talk about cancer unless you want to and everyone is very friendly and they do trips for us.”

Ms Richmond has her own fundraising page and is hoping to raise as much money as possible.

“I’m petrified of wasps – its things like that which frighten me. With this, it’s just the excitement,” she said.

To donate, go to: localgiving.com/fundraising/wendyzipwire

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