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Hundreds brave rain for charity abseil

PUBLISHED: 12:50 07 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 March 2010

HEAVY showers did not dampen the spirits of hundreds of people taking part in the sixth Ipswich Hospital Charity Abseil.

The record breaking mass charity abseil, which will see more than 1600 people scaling down the wall of the hospital's 120 foot high maternity building over two days, started off as planned at 7am.

HEAVY showers did not dampen the spirits of hundreds of people taking part in the sixth Ipswich Hospital Charity Abseil.

The record breaking mass charity abseil, which will see more than 1600 people scaling down the wall of the hospital's 120 foot high maternity building over two days, started off as planned at 7am.

Heavy showers over night and continued deluges throughout the morning proved little more than a passing annoyance as the excitement of the adventure outweighed complaints about the weather.

"You barely notice the rain, you are just concentrating on getting down," said triumphant motor mechanic Dave Addicott, 41, as his feet touched the ground.

The 41-year-old of Norwich Road, Ipswich had completed his first ever abseil to raise funds for the Special Care Baby Unit at Heath Road Hospital.

Organiser Frank Turmel of Main Event said that despite the downpour everything was going according to plan.

"The weather won't be a problem abseiling wise. The ropes are designed for wet and dry conditions. The shame is when people are warm and dry they feel more confident. With weather like today I can foresee we may get a few more people refusing to go off."

Last year only three out of 1,680 people let their fears get the better of them and opted for the lift back down to the bottom of the building.

This years event had over 1,600 people pre-booked with over 130 charities due to benefit.

"The majority of the charities that benefit are local and regional based," added Mr Turmel. "What is nice about this event is groups that don't have the resources to plan an event on this scale can tap into this one and raise funds for a local concern."

Sarah Bostock, 29, of Low Corner, Butley was among the first people to take part in this year's event.

"It was excellent fun, I really enjoyed it," said the 29-year-old mother-of-two.

"I didn't notice the rain but I feel sorry for all the people who are helping out on a day like today."

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