FEEL-GOOD fear hormones were flying round the City yesterday after a team of daredevil volunteers – including the Duke of York Prince Andrew – abseiled down the outside of Europe’s tallest building, the Shard.
Joining the Prince at the top of the 1,016ft tower in the early hours of yesterday morning were a host of City names, keen to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to scale the glass spire.
Shearman & Sterling managing partner Nick Buckworth was among the lucky (translation: crazy) few, having been at the meeting where Prince Andrew proposed the idea last year.
Yesterday he told The Capitalist that the descent, from the was an “exhilarating experience,” and one that really only required one major challenge – stepping off the edge.
“There’s definitely a moment where you just have to take a big deep breath and step off,” he said. “You just can’t imagine how high it is until you’re up there.”
With the total descent taking more than an hour, most participants just completed the most terrifying part, the top 10 storeys or so, including PwC board member Richard Oldfield, who has raised over £45,500 with gift aid so far – more than £4,500 per floor.
“Even with a little cloud at 7am, you can see for miles in every direction,” he said yesterday. “The top was exhilarating, but quick, so doing more would have been awesome.”
Also joining the team were City siblings Natasha Brook-Walters, global head of FX sales at the Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets, and her brother Nigel, regional sales director at global asset management company SEI.
The intrepid volunteers were raising money for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund and Outward Bound, with an overall target of £1m.