Page 13 - December 2017
P. 13

                                  MEMBERS & EVENTS
The Lord Mayor’s Appeal 2017
Past Master Alan Wells Abseil of the Leadenhall (Cheesegrater) Building
  Past Master Alan Wells (left) and Mile End Climbing Club Instructor Tom (right)
Teams abseiling Leadenhall Building
journey downward.
Before long it’s time to look down and there below is the ground reception team waiting to receive us.
Feet on the ground, a sense of relief and I’m unhooked from everything that made the descent safe and secure. Helmet and gloves off and shake hands with Tom who made it interesting, safe, fun and enjoyable. Then greet Chris, a Basketmaker who had sponsored me and came along to watch with a fellow Basketmaker and my Grandchildren who, with Mum and Dad, came to watch Grandpa and take photographs. Through a account and individual payments by cheque and cash I raised £1105 for the Appeal. Sincere thanks to all those who gave so generously to the Appeal through my adventure. I enjoyed it and I’m sure those who benefit from the proceeds of this abseil event, which raised over £160,000, will be grateful.
Alan Wells
Past Master 2005/06 Worshipful Company of Firefighters
The Lord Mayor’s Appeal 2017 supported the LSO Discovery Programme to encourage young organists, Music in Hospitals and St Paul’s Cathedral Music Outreach. Fund raising was achieved by inviting people to participate in a variety of activities. One was a 629ft abseil of the Leadenhall (Cheesegrater) Building in the City, which I and 96 others, took part in on Friday 8th September. Once checked-in, I donned my Worshipful Company of Firefighters tabard, was fitted out with harness, helmet, gloves, soft overshoes to protect the glass wall and introduced to an instructor, Tom, from the Mile End Climbing Club which was running the activity. We took a lift to a small flat roof section, four floors from the top, where three sets of descent ropes were rigged from a scaffold structure.
The moment of truth arrived when Tom went forward to secure himself to a set of descent ropes. When beckoned forward I stepped up onto the platform where the guy in charge promptly snapped a clip
onto my harness which was attached by a short rope to him and to the platform to prevent me from falling over the edge, or perhaps, running away! My harness is checked and tightened, I’m ushered forward; my harness is attached to the descender device on a rope, another short rope clips me to Tom. The guy on the platform releases me from his rope and I’m invited to turn, face the building, allow the rope to begin to take my weight, place my feet on the edge of the building and lie back into the void. The descent begins.
Tom talked me through getting moving. Surprisingly, the weight of 600 feet of rope hanging beneath you tensions the rope threaded through the descender device to provide sufficient friction to prevent the rope moving. Tom tells me to lift the rope hanging beneath me, I do and the desecender device attaching me to the rope, starts to slide down with each lift. Soon I’m told to grip the rope and let it slide slowly though my gloved hands to control the descent and we slowly start our
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