fundraising event was in support of the Royal National Institute
for the Blind (RNIB) and I agreed to take the plunge. This is an
account of my fear bashing exercise!
had hounded friends and family to raise sponsorship for my jump
(at least £75 was required to take part) and the day had finally
arrived. My time was to be 4.00pm on Saturday.
views were awesome going over the edge
after paying my cheque, it was not long before we were ushered into
a large room for a pretty extensive training session.
completed, it was time to get the lift up to the roof, which, quite
alarmingly, is on the 14th floor. Once outside, although raining
heavily and blowing a gale, the views of the city were awesome,
but for some reason it was difficult to fully appreciate them....!
was only a few minutes before I was told to lean backwards over
the ledge that towers 200 feet over the city below.
forgotten just about all of my extensive training, I stepped up
onto the ledge, turned around and looked down. I could see matchbox-sized
cars and buses and spectators the size of ants.
difficult to describe the feeling you get at this stage. Breathing
becomes heavy and every movement you make is definite.
more confident with
the trainer had prized my sweaty palms from his coat lapels, I was
on my way down!
I had taken a few short bounces, my confidence began to rise and
there was no stopping me.
large leaps from the face, descending 20-30 feet at a time. In less
than 60 seconds, I was back on terra -firma. It was all over and
I would have happily caught the lift back up to do it again.
I can recommend abseiling to anyone. So, if you are ever asked to
take part in something like this, just go for it. You may have reservations
at first. But once you take that initial leap, you'll never look
so many people involved requires a lot of organisation and I must
commend the volunteers from the RNIB and those members of the Chudleigh
Rock and Caving Club who were on hand to give us the necessary training.
of the RNIB: (from left) Tim Evans, Judith Powell, Kate Nairn,
weekend was hard work for many of the organisers but they did manage
to beat their target of £30,000.
Powell from the RNIB told me the whole team were absolutely overwhelmed
by everyone's generosity: "A portion of the £36,000 raised
will go to the Transcriptions Centre in Ivybridge and we also donate
to the Talking Book service. Devon is one of the largest users of
Talking Books in the country with over 1500 members" she said.
to everyone involved for the experience.
Craig died in July 2002.
It is at the request of his family, and as a mark of respect
by his friends and colleagues at BBC Devon, that his feature
remains on this website.