PBO contributor Wil Bailey, 'Oldbilbo', walked up Portland Bill Lighthouse's 153 steps and then abseiled down

The generosity of PBO Forum members gifted £1,055 to Trinity House’s marine charity when ‘OldBilbo’ abseiled down Portland Bill Lighthouse.

The challenge by forum member Oldbilbo, otherwise known as PBO contributor Wil Bailey, also generated £223 in Gift Aid tax-back for the cause.

It took place last Saturday, as a thunderstorm struck the south coast.

Oldbilbo, 67, from Bath, said: ‘It was a rainstormy day across England. Friends suggested it looked a long way down.

‘I was more concerned, with a recently-replaced knee, that it looked a long way UP….. and while abseiling held few terrors, the idea of clambering back down those steep 153 steps spiralling round the inside was far from appealing.

‘The hardest part was lifting arthritic legs over the high steel safety rail at the top. Lucy, managing the safety line at the top, offered to heave me up and over – or roll me through and over the edge.

‘Between us, we managed – but not without a few giggles.

‘With another rainstorm barrelling in from seaward, one was encouraged to ‘get on with it’, and the deed completed, honour satisfied, and all back in the car before the heavens opened again.’

Oldbilbo praised all his forum friends for making the donations, and added: ‘There were, in the final count, 59 contributors – all Forum members – to this JustGiving lark…’

The worthy cause

event was part of a trio of lighthouse abseiling challenges, held by the
Corporation of Trinity House to mark its 500th anniversary of serving
and caring for mariners and their dependents.

All proceeds raised will
go towards the corporation’s charity, which annually contributes around
£4million to maritime charities such as the Association of Sail
Training Organisations (ASTO), Jubilee Sailing Trust, The Mary Rose
Trust and Seafarers UK, plus several others.

Oldbilbo was inspired to take on the challenge after spotting the news article on the PBO website.

addition to the Portland event, fundraising abseil challenges were
held at Southwold (Suffolk) lighthouse and at Nash Point (Glamorgan) lighthouse.

Find Oldbilbo’s JustGiving page, plus lots of comments and banter, at www.justgiving.com/wil-bailey/

Pictures: Oldbilbo, Wil Bailey, abseils down Portland Bill Lighthouse. Credit: Phil Alder of Trinity House