The £1 million mark has been reached from a charity abseil off the Forth Bridge which has been organised for the past 10 years by South Queensferry Rotary.
This year, 334 intrepid volunteers dropped 165 feet from the world-famous landmark in aid of good causes.
The event has grown into one of the most significant fundraisers in the district and this year topped the magic million-pound mark in money raised since it started ten years ago.
The iconic position of the Forth Rail Bridge, which now has World Heritage Site status, attracts people from all over Scotland, the UK and further afield keen, not only to support charity, but to experience the thrill of abseiling from one of the best-known structures in the world.
It’s great that the Queensferry Club can use this amazing bridge, right on our doorstep, to benefit so many good causes.”
The principle charities to benefit this year were the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and Strathcarron Hospice. This year’s event alone raised £120,000.
Each charity is adopted for two years and spaces are also made available for supporters to abseil on behalf of many other local and national charities.
There was also a charity village in the grounds of the Hawes Inn where participants and spectators could find out more about the charities they are supporting.
Abseilers of all ages, dressed in a range of colourful outfits descended from the bridge to the beach watched by friends and supporters.
A team from Amazon in Dunfermline supporting Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) were first down. They were followed by a strong team from the Rebecca Rocks fundraising group, also abseiling for CHAS.
Many abseilers chose colourful outfits. Batman descended complete with cape, a team from Kinloch Anderson, abseiling for Macmillan Cancer Support, all wore kilts and the group from Craigie’s Bee Team naturally wore bee-keepers’ outfits.
Good, clear weather helped the event go with a swing and the last abseilers landed safely on the beach just after 5pm.
Safety is always the top priority and the technical aspects of the abseil are in the expert hands of the Glasgow Climbing Centre.
And the ty on the bridge is enforced by Balfour Beatty under the auspices of Network Rail.
Over the years, through increasingly sophisticated systems, efficiency has increased, but so have the challenges facing the organisers.
For example, due to the ever-increasing number of cruise ship visits to Queensferry, when abseils can’t be held because of the volume of traffic, the problem of selecting a Sunday, when the tide is right, is becoming ever more difficult.
It is a classic example of Rotary in action, involving many charities and showing immense commitment from the Queensferry club to sustain this amazing event over ten years.”
On the day of the abseil, the club relies on over 100 helpers, volunteers and Rotarians from the club and district, to make things run smoothly.
Ian Heigh, Network Rail Senior Project Engineer, who visited the event, congratulated the Rotary Club of South Queensferry for having achieved £1 million from Forth Bridge abseils.
He said: “Network Rail is delighted to make the bridge available to a local organisation to raise funds for so many good causes.”
Rotary District Governor Jo Pawley from Eyemouth Rotary, said: “This is my first visit to the abseil though I have heard a lot about it.
“It is a classic example of Rotary in action, involving many charities and showing immense commitment from the Queensferry club to sustain this amazing event over ten years.”
President Jim McCulloch thanked volunteers for their support in making this year’s event a success.
Immediate Past President Sandy Mackenzie, who presented abseilers with their certificates, added: “It has been fantastic congratulating so many people.
“For everyone taking part, the abseil is not just a thrilling experience, but the result of many hours’ work raising sponsorship.
“It’s great that the Queensferry Club can use this amazing bridge, right on our doorstep, to benefit so many good causes.
“We are grateful to Network Rail, Balfour Beatty, the hundreds of abseilers and all the people who supported them.”