NOT only is 84-year-old Barbara Sanderson abseiling down the side of the town hall, she is doing so while embodying her naughty and nice side...dressed as the anti-heroine Catwoman.

On Sunday, the grandmother and former Colchester mayoress, joins more than 40 members of the public and hospital staff scaling down the 66ft building in aid of Colchester Hospitals Charity’s Cancer Centre campaign which is backed by the Gazette.

A Google search led Barbara to her ultimate superhero and after a stern talking to herself, she was sold on the costume - minus the PVC.

She said: “I thought ‘Well, other people are going to make the effort so come on girl, make the effort’.

“I found all sorts of comic heroes I’d never heard of and then suddenly I came across a website with Catwoman.

“She was part good and part bad and I thought that sounds like me.”


It's all in the swish of a tail for Barbara

Just four years ago, the mother-of-four did the same down the even taller Naze Tower to raise money for the Red Cross.

Her memories were awakened when she read of former cancer unit matron Donna Booton abseiling down the town hall and wanted to also support the appeal to create a new cancer centre at Colchester General Hospital.

“Cancer touches every family as far as I’ve discovered in my long life. I’ve had close relatives who have died from cancer - my parents and my grandmother.

“And it being local, so many people are not keen to contribute to national charities or fundraising.”

The stunt will help Colchester Hospitals Charity’s fill the £750,000 shortfall needed to fund the centre.

When the final moment arrives, Barbara expects to excited and nervous.

“I shall be pleased when it’s come and gone,” she joked. “Once you have the harness on, you stand on the edge of the plank and lean back into nothingness. That’s the scariest bit.

“But I’ll be there and will have to do it.”

Support the abseilers between 9.30am and 3.30pm.