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Meet the daredevils who abseiled down Emley Moor mast

They were raising thousands of pounds for the Children's Heart Surgery Fund.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance ... and 20 daredevils conquered their nerves to do it.

The terrifying challenge to abseil down the inside of Emley Moor Mast was set up by Capital FM and Arqiva, which owns the mast, to raise money for charity.

They raised more than £5,000 for Global’s Make Some Noise which helps small projects for youngsters and their families living with illness, disability or lack of opportunity.

This year’s chosen charity was the Leeds General Infirmary-based Children’s Heart Surgery Fund and last year’s was Candlelighters which supports children with cancer.

The original mast, which was made of cylindrical steel, unexpectedly collapsed in 1969 due to a combination of strong winds and the weight of ice at the top of the mast and on guy wires.

Miraculously no-one was hurt despite falling cables cutting through a church and transmitter site buildings.

John Crapper, who is from Birchencliffe, was seven when it fell down and remembers it being rebuilt.

The 55-year-old said: “I came here March 1969 when it fell down with my mum, my dad and my sister. I got a bit of fibreglass from it but I’m not sure what I’ve done with it now.

“So I thought I’d come back and it’s the first time I’ve got inside it. It’s a big opportunity, there are not so many people who can get inside.”

Charity abseiling inside Emley Moor Mast.

He previously abseiled down The John Smith’s Stadium but at around 180ft, today’s feat was the most he had ever done.

John added: “When I was in my 20s I used to follow Huddersfield Town down London and when we came back up the M1, as soon as you saw the mast you knew you were close to home. It put a smile on your face.”

Sisters Nicola and Caroline Tomlinson, who are from Stanley in Wakefield, abseiled for the first time as the causes are close to their own hearts. Their nephew, Joshua, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of eight last year.

Caroline said: “My sister made me do it. We decided to do it partly because it’s a fun thing to do and a bit of a challenge.”

Nicola added: “And Global supports a lot of smaller charities that often are not heard, like Candlelighters.

“My nephew got diagnosed with cancer and Candlelighters just supported us massively. They’re an absolutely amazing charity so anything that supports them, we support.”

And 37-year-old Beverley Proctor, who is from Middlestown, took part too. Her late father Paul Rosso, who died of cancer, helped build the 1,084ft replacement mast.

The abseil took place today (Wednesday) from 8.30am to 2pm.

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