Daredevil Marta takes a wingwalking adventure

FLY-By: Marta takes to the skies. Picture courtesy of Judy Barker
FLY-By: Marta takes to the skies. Picture courtesy of Judy Barker

At the sprightly age of 73 Marta Smith is showing no signs of giving up her daredevil spirit, which has raised thousands for Wakefield Cathedral.

Back in 2015 she abseiled 32 metres down the cathedral tower but this time she has gone even higher by taking on the challenge of wingwalking.

Earlies this month the thrill seeker was strapped to the top of a biplane for a fifteen-minute flight as part of her fundraising mission.

She said: “It went very well, the atmosphere was superb.

“Up there in the air it’s very windy, everything wobbles. “I even lost my goggles at one point. But it was exciting, exhilarating - I never felt frightened.

“I like to try things, and feel the adrenaline. It was amazing, I would recommend it to anyone.

“I have never been afraid of heights. I was a very daring toddler - my mother was always sewing what clothing I had ripped that day climbing trees or something.”

Marta doesn’t have any more daredevil plans just yet - although she is definitely up for the challenge. She said: “I’m not giving up just yet. You have to wait a minute or people will run away when they see me because they think I always want them to sponsor me.”

Her fundraising goal was £5,000, but she hopes that once everything is added up, she will have made more than £5,500. The money will go towards developing the north side of the cathedral and building a new song school.

Marta said: “Everyone was so generous. There were perfect strangers, people I’ve never met, giving money to my cause, it was really lovely.

“It’s nice to work with so many people supporting you.

“I want to say thank you to Terry Rigg and the cathedral staff, they were all lovely and I always felt supported, I never felt I was on my own.

“The cathedral is a beautiful place for everybody, to sit down and have a moment of peace – an oasis.

“It’s a really important part of the busy town centre, and they do so much for people of all religions. It’s a really worthwhile cause and I’m glad I can raise money for them.”