Supergran Ann Timson, who battled a gang of armed robbers as they tried to break in to a shop, is to auction the handbag she used to fight them off.

The 71-year-old former market trader was nicknamed the “handbag heroine” after swinging her bag at the gang of six who were armed with sledgehammers and trying to smash the windows of a jeweller in Northampton, Britain.

The robbers had pulled up on motorbikes and were smashing their way into the store when Timson ran across the road and started bashing them with her handbag.

Extraordinary footage of Timson sprinting across a road in her bright red coat before launching her attack has been screened around the world and has had hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube.

Handbag hero granny explains why she did it

As a result of her actions, one man was apprehended on the scene, and four others have appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court charged with robbery and theft of a vehicle.

The fearless handbag-wielding granny has since been flown to America with her son, Andre, 47, where she spoke to US television channel NBC.

She said: “I’m not a hero or a heroine or a supergran. I just thought a kid was being hit.

“In for a penny, in for a pound. I think the adrenaline got going and the second thought was how dare they do a daylight robbery? That was it. I was mad.”

Asked if she was going to sell the bag on eBay, she said: “Andre is going to deal with something like that and maybe we can give the funds to charity if anybody wants to buy it, they are more than welcome.”

Speaking to the Daily Mail about the incident, Timson said: “I was just standing in the street talking to a lady when I heard this revving sound and saw what I thought was a group of boys attacking another lady, so I basically ran up and clobbered them. All I could think was what if it was my son being attacked?

“People keep saying I sprinted up to the robbers, but I can’t sprint, my knees are too wobbly. I’d say it was more of an amble — an amble at a reasonable speed.

Timson, who suffers from arthritis and sometimes needs to use a wheelchair, was wearing support bandages at the time of the incident because she was on her way to a dance class. She said she was sore for four days after the incident.

She revealed that when she was a little girl, her mother often used to tell her not to get too involved when there was trouble about. As Ann points out with a shy smile: “I was a feisty little beggar.

“Whenever I came home and told my mum about my day, or mentioned something I’d said to someone, she’d say: “Oh Ann, you get too involved”.’

Questioned about her bag-wielding technique, she said: “It was just a two-handed thing.

“They had mega helmets on. It was not going to impact on them and hurt, but hopefully it would distract them from doing what they were doing.

“Every time I whacked I said, ‘go off’’.”

The heroine revealed that she was confronted head-on by one of the robbers, who was brandishing a sledgehammer.

She said: “We just stood up, eyeball to eyeball and he just put it down. I think he realised I was just an old biddy anyway.”

Asked if she was bothered that nobody came to her aid, she said: “It did a bit.”

But she added: “I think they stood absolutely mesmerised and somebody afterward said they thought it was a wind-up for a show.”