Doris joins Queen and Delia to make elite list of heroic pensioners

DELIGHTED 'Daring' Doris Long with her award
DELIGHTED 'Daring' Doris Long with her award
James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

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SHE’S famous for being a record-breaking abseiler – but now daring Doris Long has been elevated to even greater heights.

Doris, 97, has been named alongside the Queen, Michael Palin and Delia Smith as one of Britain’s most inspirational pensioners.

The daredevil from Hayling Island, who regularly breaks her own record for being the oldest abseiler, is one of 66 people over the age of 66 to make the Gold Age Power List.

The list was drawn up by the charity WRVS, whose volunteers help support older people in staying fit and active.

Others on the list include David Attenborough and Lord Robert Winston, who was voted ‘peer of the year’ for his work on the human fertilisation and embryology bill, and who spoke last week during the Portsmouth Festivities.

Doris, who was presented with a star-shaped award, said: ‘It’s wonderful, although I don’t think I deserve it! I don’t feel like a hero at all. I enjoy doing it and collecting money for The Rowans Hospice. But I am very grateful.

‘To think all this is happening to me at my age, it’s incredible. I am getting more kisses now than when I was a teenager!’

Doris said she had met the Queen in 1984 when she was presented with an MBE after running an animal sanctuary for 20 years.

She laughed: ‘She was very friendly and we had a nice little chat.

‘I almost asked her if she wanted a home for one of her corgis!’

Doris has completed 18 abseils – starting at the tender age of 85.

Last month she broke her own Guinness World Record for the world’s oldest abseiler when she abseiled 200ft down Millgate House, in Portsea, with Fred Dinenage.

Doris is one of a handful of local heroes from around the country to make the list, which is mostly made up of celebrities.

Lynne Berry, chief executive of WRVS, said: ‘Our list demonstrates the extraordinary social and cultural contribution older people make and it was incredibly difficult to agree a final list of 66 people.’