Past Mistress Baker Michelle Pretorius abseils the Cheesegrater!

Reporting back to those who followed my progress down the Cheesegrater.

Firstly, thank you to all of you in the Worshipful Company of Bakers, who sponsored my abseil for the Lord Mayor's Appeal for which I raised over £1,500.

On the morning of Friday 8th September we left just after 5am in the hope of avoiding too much traffic. The journey took longer than thought and I only just skidded in for my 8am slot.

I was rigged up and helmeted with no less than four safety checks. I was then escorted in the elevator with an instructor up to the top of the building 47 stories (737feet) above ground, where the view of London was spectacular. The rain kept falling and falling.

I climbed up a ladder to the top of the temporary platform to which all the rigging and ropes were attached. I had slot number 5 following the Lord Mayor, Katherine McDowell the Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, a member of the press and one of the LSO violinists, who was rushing down to get to a rehearsal.

With my harness and strapping all checked again I was told to lean out putting all my weight into the rope and leave my feet against the glass to guide me down and to avoid spinning. I was also warned thatthe ropes were heavy and wet and that the decent may get quicker the lower we got. I had been given leather gloves to wear in order to control the speed of my descent by gripping the rope in front of me.

There were numerous office workers smiling and waving on each floor as I passed on the outside of their offices. I only waved back once as I soon realised I needed both hands on the rope to control my speed whilst descending down the Cheesegrater.

I could not resist a little spin around to look at the view and also to see if I would make out my supporters. I knew that the Master and Past Master David Powell were both down there somewhere amongst the ant sized people. I did find that I was having to try and control the speed of my decent by gripping the rope even tighter and could feel the heat rising through the leather gloves for which I was then truly grateful to be wearing.

All too soon, I was at the bottom feeling quite thrilled and elated. I had the Worshipful Company of Bakers' scarf tied around my neck and on landing on terra firma, I opened it up for all to see that The Worshipful Company of Bakers was represented and to be photographed with the Master .

Root and Branch may it flourish forever. Or, is it despite the Rain and tall Buildings may they flourish forever.

To find out more about Michelle's story and how you can donate please click here.


 
 
 
 
Close