British Wall of Death 1929-1939

British Wall of Death 1929-1939

Ann Wright and Alan Mercer

In the summer of 1929, the English Showman Charles More introduced to the Great British public a sensational motorcycle act which would be seen all over the country in fairgrounds and exhibition spaces. Initially his riders were American and South African. The crowds would queue to see and hear a noisy performance of motorcycles within a wooden drum riding vertically, and the venue had tiered viewing access for the spectators. Without the use of wires or magnets, gravity would hold the riders both male and female as they rode around its steep straight up walls.

The act would be copied by other showmen with British riders learning the art and within three years the name Wall of Death would be used by everyone to describe the act. By 1933, practically every fairground in the country had received a visit from a Wall of Death. Some events even had more than one wall attending, and an added attraction to the act would be the use of animals, sidecars and cars. This would be the peak of its popularity but it would continue through and beyond World War Two to the present day.
This book covers the first ten years history of this act in Great Britain.



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