Fred, 85, is oldest person ever to abseil down Northampton’s National Lift Tower

Fred Samwell

Fred Samwell

Bishop John Holbrook and 85-year-old Fred Samwell abseil down Northampton’s lift tower to raise funds for church repairs.

The Bishop of Brixworth, the Rt Revd John Holbrook, abseiled down the Express Lift Tower in Northampton on Saturday. He followed 85-year-old Fred Samwell, who was said to be the oldest person ever to make the 400-foot descent.

The National Lift Tower is one of the highest official abseil sites in Europe.

Together with several other members of the Kingsthorpe group of churches the two men were helping to raise funds for ongoing repairs to St John’s, St Mark’s and St David’s churches including the organ at St John’s which is due to undergo a £30,000 refit later this year.

The combined effort is likely to have raised more than £1,000 for the repair funds, the team rector of the group, Canon Jane Butler, said.

It was not the first time Bishop John had abseiled, but said that it was the highest and scariest. Fred Samwell, however, said that he had once abseiled a higher descent on the Zambesi river.




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