84-year-old grandfather abseils for charity

John Poland with daughter Eve and grandson Julius

The cliff

First published in News

A grandfather has defied his age by abseiling down a 115ft cliff.

John Poland, 84, raised more than £400 for The Martlets Hospice in Hove by safely touching down at the foot of the cliffs at Peacehaven yesterday.

After climbing more than a hundred steps back to the top the RAF veteran said his descent ‘felt like a very long time’.

“I just said every few minutes, ‘tell me how much further I am from the bottom’.”

He joked: “The thought [of pulling out] did cross my mind.

“But unfortunately I thought, ‘Well I cannot give the £400 back that I have raised’.”

Among friends and family cheering him on was grandson Julius, 5 months, and daughter Eve.

Mr Poland, of Clarendon Villas, Hove, added: “If I had fallen into the water I would have been done for, because I cannot swim.”

Some 60 dare-devils abseiled on Saturday in aid of the hospice.

A spokesman said they hoped to raise more than £10,000.

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