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Bride takes the plunge

Press release   •   Aug 27, 2014 11:11 BST

Bride Emma Metcalfe will be starting her wedding day in spectacular style – abseiling down Rochdale Town Hall.

Before she can walk down the aisle Emma will climb 100 steps to the top of the 190ft stone tower before descending by rope then dashing off to get married!

Daredevil Emma committed to taking part in the charity event before the date had been fixed and when it was announced as part of this weekend’s Feel Good Festival she kept her pledge.

Emma is head of the REAL Trust, Rochdale Education and Learning Trust and also on the committee of the Number One Riverside – Giving Back charity which organised the event.

She said: “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to abseil down the town hall and when we were planning it I immediately agreed to take part. When the date was finally fixed and they told me I thought it sounded vaguely familiar.

“Only a bit later did it dawn on me that it was also my wedding day! But why not? I will be more worried about leaping off the top of the building than walking down the aisle so perhaps it’s a good thing!”

Emma, 42, will be among the first of the 100 people taking part in the abseil on Saturday which is being held during the town’s two day Feel Good Festival.

As soon as she reaches the ground she will be whisked back home to Norden to start preparations for the ceremony which is being held at St James Church in Ashworth at 2pm.

Emma’s fiancé, firefighter Andrew Dunham, 43, also thought it a great idea but will not be joining his bride on the descent. “He thinks it would be bad luck to see me on the morning of our wedding day. Well that’s his reason!” said Emma.

She will be watched by friends and family but the abseil will also be a moving tribute to her mother, former Rochdale Councillor Ann Metcalfe who passed away in February of last year and also her late father, former Rochdale teacher John Metcalfe.

Emma said: “My dad was a big adventurer and my mum always loved a challenge so I know they would both approve. In a way it is also a distraction tactic because sadly neither of them will be there on my big day so it will help take my mind off that. I hope they would both have been very proud of me.”

The abseil will be the year’s second big fund raiser for Number One Riverside – Giving Back following a hugely successful ball last year.

It is hoped this one-off event will raise many thousands of pounds to help fund a 17 seater adapted mini bus for Rochdale Gateway.

Emma said: “It is an incredibly worthwhile charity and I hope lots of people will support all the abseilers and raise lots of money for very good local causes.”

Notes to Editors

Thanks to Brides of Rochdale for supplying the veil.For further information contact Jill Burdett on 


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