Its interesting how things turn out. I never set out to be where I am now but i suppose when I look back I can see where my specific character traits have led me here. I’ve been out in the hills since my early teens and climbing since I was 17 and started training in the Martial Arts shortly afterwards. As well as enjoying it personally I derived a lot of pleasure and a sense of purpose from taking friends climbing or showing other students what they missed in class. This quickly grew into me becoming a Black belt instructor in just 3 years and gaining walking leader and climbing instructor qualifications because I wanted to make sure I was doing things properly. The 1st events that I organised were Martial arts seminars with some of the top instructors in Europe and then later some of my own. My own seminars often involved some outdoor activities thrown in for good measure. Fast forward a few years to 2006 and having freelanced with various outdoor companies and providers for a number of years I was frustrated by the lack organisation and client care that I was noticing. Being a bit of a control freak also didn't lend it self to working for others so the only way forward was to set up on my own. Early 2006 I had met Karen (during a Charity Abseil at the Avon Gorge!) and after moving to Bristol to be with her we started our plans. Coming up with a name for the business was tricky but on the 7th of August 2006 Karen sent me a txt with yet another name suggestion ‘what about The Outer Edge…?’
Our 1st job was in December - Travelodge were opening a new hotel in Hereford and wanted two guys to abseil down the building dressed as the SAS, throw some smoke grenades about then burst into the building. How hard could it be?
Travelodge had also engaged the services of a special effects company to provide the smoke grenades and to set off a large explosion effect just before we burst into the building. Rigging diagrams, risk assessments and plans were drawn up, equipment and SAS style clothing sourced and all set up ready. Assembled to witness the grand opening were various local dignitaries including the Mayor, pupils from the nearby primary school and members of upper Travelodge management.
We got ready on the roof and as the theme form Mission Impossible played (cheesy and nothing to do with us but made me smile), we dropped down the side of the building, threw some smoke grenades about and ran towards the door. In front of the door the special effects guys had set up a large steel ‘bowl’ angled at about 45’. In it was a small explosive charge, pieces of polystyrene that looked like rocks and a mass of peat. This was covered by some polystyrene tiles. The plan was that we would pretend to ‘rig’ the door to explode - stand back, the explosion goes off and in we go. Well that’s what I did.. Lee was super keen and leapt over the steel bowl and into the building and it went off behind him. And it went off!! I wouldn’t have called it a small explosion at all and neither did any of the amassed crowd… The children were crying and the crowd and newly tarmaced carpark were covered in peat and pieces of polystyrene. Obviously no one was hurt as that was the point of using these materials but I don't think its what they were expecting.. Travelodge were really pleased with the part that we had played and we had our 1st mini epic under our belt..