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'Spiderman' Albert Tweddle from Sandwich to take part in KM Charity abseil in Maidstone

By Eleanor Perkins

An 82-year-old veteran has been nicknamed Spiderman after he signed up to take part in an abseil.

Albert Tweddle from Sandwich will swap his usual Sunday routine of a roast and a match on the box to descend 100ft from the top of Thomas Place in Maidstone, next month.

The retired Royal Marine booked his place online himself before telling his family.

Albert Tweddle talks about his "Spiderman" nickname

He is pleased to learn of his new superhero tag.

It was given to him by the nurses at QEQM Hospital in Margate when he attended for an injection to relieve recent back pain.

But the poppy-seller for the town’s British Legion branch won’t be thinking of his ailments during the KM Charity Challenge on March 17.

Instead he plans to focus on his technique, reflecting on years gone by when he scaled the cliffs in Plymouth as a Royal Marine Commando.

He told the Mercury: “I’ve been wanting to do it for a while. I saw it there in your paper and thought let’s do it while I can.

“When I was next on Facetime to Alison [his daughter], I said, ‘I’ve got some news for you. You’re not going to like it!’

“There was a bit of silence at first but she wasn’t a bit surprised.

Albert Tweddle will abseil down Thomas Place in Maidstone. Stock image
Albert Tweddle will abseil down Thomas Place in Maidstone. Stock image

“I’m looking forward it to. I’ll be thinking about 1954 when I first did it and the way I did it.”

Born in Salford and brought up in Manchester, Mr Tweddle came to Deal when he joined the Royal Marines in 1954, aged 17 and a half. He later served in 40 Commando, travelling to the Mediterranean, Malta, North American and Cyprus.

He decided to move closer to his home when he married June, his wife of 55 years. The couple met at scooter club Deal Demons.

But Mr Tweddle didn’t leave a life in uniform behind. He joined the Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve in Dover, serving with the Buffs 50 Battalion and the Queens Regiment, 5th Battalion TAVR.

He ended his career with 20 years of service to the Sandwich Retained Firefighters.

Albert Tweddle is taking part in the KM Charity Team abseil at the age of 82
Albert Tweddle is taking part in the KM Charity Team abseil at the age of 82

Since June’s death in November 2017, Mr Tweddle likes to stay active, enjoying walks at Sandwich Bay and belonging to many groups and associations.

He said: “I like to enjoy myself and keep busy.”

He is chairman of the Sandwich branch of the Royal British Legion and has carried the standard at services for 50 years.

He is also chairman of the Canterbury Branch of the Royal Marines Association, a volunteer at White Mill Rural Heritage Centre and a member of the Stour Valley Harness Club.

The grandfather of two is collecting sponsorship for The Royal Marines Charity and RNLI Kent in exchange for his madcap attempt.

If it goes well, he says he’ll consider taking on the longest zip-wire in Europe, in Snowdonia.

He said: “Age is just a number. It’s what you feel.”

You can sponsor Albert by clicking here.

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