Bath Abbey’s Tower Tour team this week (August 12th) completed the equivalent of scaling Mont Blanc by climbing up and down the Abbey’s 212 steep steps, ninety-eight times in four hours.
The endurance challenge raised just under £2000 for the Footprint Project, a £19.3 million works programme to make Bath Abbey fit for the 21st Century.
The nine tour guides, led by Holly Doughty, Tower Tour Team Leader, were originally due to tackle the equivalent of the National Three Peaks, an impressive 3,407 metres. They quickly realised however, that they were going to hit this target with time to spare. Instead of resting on their laurels, the team decided to push for another peak.
They completed a further 28 laps to conquer the summit of Mont Blanc, 4,810 metres.
Crowds of well-wishers including Deputy Mayor Shaun McGall turned up to cheer on the tower guides as they conquered lap after lap of gruelling thigh splitting climbing. And the Abbey bells rang out ‘Climb Every Mountain’ every hour.
As the team completed the final lap to hit the top of Mont Blanc, Holly Doughty, Tower Tour Team Leader, announced the good news: “I am so proud of all of us. Although our knees may be numb and legs a little bit shakey, we can say with great pride that we have put in our best effort for Bath Abbey’s Footprint project.
We were greatly inspired by Edward Mason and his band of Footprint walkers who recently completed a 140 mile walk from Bath Abbey to Lambeth Palace. We wanted to do something just as challenging and we can now safely say we’ve done that.”
Charles Curnock, Bath Abbey’s Footprint Project Director, praised the guide’s efforts saying: “The Tower Tour team have achieved something brilliant here today, they should be incredibly proud of themselves. It really feels as though we are making great progress to raise awareness of the Footprint Project and hit our targets for the Heritage Lottery Funding. I look forward to building on this momentum in these last crucial months before the next funding round.”
In May last year, Bath Abbey’s Footprint project received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a full award of £10 million. The Abbey has already raised nearly half of the £7.1 million of match funding to unlock the full award with just over £4 million left to raise from a combination of charitable trusts, foundations, private donors and public fundraising events.
The £19.3 million Footprint project aims to carry out essential repairs to the Abbey’s collapsing floor, install a new eco-friendly heating system using Bath’s unique hot springs as a source of energy and enlarge capacity by creating 200sq metres of new facilities to fulfil the Abbey as a place of congregation, equal access and hospitality.
A programme is also planned to record and interpret the Abbey’s 1,200 years of history and this iconic church for millions of visitors including educational visits.
For further details about Bath Abbey, please visit www.bathabbey.org
To find out more about the Footprint Project and to sponsor the tower guides please visit www.bathabbey.org/threepeakstowerchallenge or contact Katie McGill on 01225 303314 / firstname.lastname@example.org