AddThis SmartLayers

Editor abseils down giant 'ice cream cone'

Newspaper editor David Jackman has taken the plunge for charity by abseiling down an ice cream cone-shaped tower.

David, from the West Essex Guardian Series, braved the 120ft Church Langley water tower to raise money for two local charities.

Having never done anything like that before he had been a little wary of having his life depend on a length of rope, but by the time he completed the challenge he was ready for a second go.

He said: “I even had a chance to admire the view on the way down. The oddest feeling was when my feet touched the ground and it took a moment to regain my balance.”

After getting kitted out in his safety gear David had to climb 82 steps and 51 rungs of a ladder inside the tower to reach the top.

He then climbed between the metal railing running around the edge of the tower, where he reached the point of no return.

David said: “With my back to Church Langley I had to stand on one of the narrow ledges inches below the rim of the ice cream cone-shaped tower. That was okay, but the next move was a little more difficult.

“Instructor Brian told me to kneel on the same ledge. Then I had to shuffle to the right with my stomach over the tower’s edge so my right leg dangled down. Then a bit more shuffling until both legs were hanging.

“At that point it was just the rope, secured on the tower roof, that was holding me – not quite my life hanging by a thread but for a few seconds that was how it felt. Strangely though I was still not feeling that nervous.

“I didn’t expect to enjoy it but I did – and came down gracefully!”

David also raised more than £2,000 in sponsorship, which will be split between the Ongar and District Healthcare League of Friends and Essex Air Ambulance.