WATCH: Drone video shows blind 90-year-old’s abseil down the Spinnaker Tower

Tony Banks, an architect from Portsmouth who worked on designing buildings across the world, has died aged 92.

Tributes paid to architect who designed Portsmouth buildings – and Disney theme park ride

Have your say

A BLIND pensioner’s daring abseil for the charity that helped her as she lost her sight has been captured on a spectacular video.

Betty Richards, 90, was all smiles as she came down the Spinnaker Tower on Sunday. Putting her nerves to one side, she lowered herself down the 110m structure in a bid to raise £1,000 for the Macular Society.

Betty Richards, after she touched down on solid ground. Photo: Nail Marshall

Betty Richards, after she touched down on solid ground. Photo: Nail Marshall

Crowds of friends and supporters were on hand to see her make the leap of faith - and the moment was recorded from a drone operated by Peter Sowalsky.

Betty was swiftly followed off the tower by 64-year-old Tom McInulty – the charity’s regional manager for the south.

Mr McInulty, who lost his sight completely after he was poisoned by cyanide in Trinidad and Tobago at the age of 31, said he was ‘so proud’ of Betty, from Fareham.

He said: ‘Betty initially asked if I would go down with her if she did an abseil.

Betty, mid-way through her 110m abseil

Betty, mid-way through her 110m abseil

‘One week later, she told me the doctor had given her the all-clear and she had already organised it.

‘She absolutely loved it.

‘The moment we both touched down she said she wanted to go up there and do it all over again.

‘When I first signed up, somebody told me the Spinnaker Tower was taller than Big Ben.

‘Well of course, I was stunned – because that is one of the things I remember seeing very well.

‘At the end of it all though, I’m so glad I’ve done it, not least alongside Betty.’

Together, the pair managed to raise nearly £2,000 for the charity.