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Wall of death


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#1 D-Type

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 20:38

I don't know whether this should be on the "Motorcycle racing" forum. Sight of the "Wall of Death" at the Revival plus a couple of mentions on here brought back a couple of memories. In the sixties when 'the circus came to town' in Nairobi, Kenya it featured a "Globe of death". A sphere of steel or aluminium mesh with two intrepid motorcyclists - at one stage one was doing horizontal circles and the other was doing vertical ones. Can anybody else remember seeing one of these anywhere?

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#2 Thundersport

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 20:53

I went in one at Brands in the 80s and there was one at the Silverstone Classic this year. It was a fiver to get in and worth every penny.

#3 D-Type

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 20:54

I went in one at Brands in the 80s and there was one at the Silverstone Classic this year. It was a fiver to get in and worth every penny.

Was that a wall or a globe?

#4 E1pix

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 20:56

I've only seen the wall, at fairparks in the States in the '60s and '70s. As a little kid I thought it was great, and here they ran motorcycles and karts.

#5 Thundersport

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 20:58

Wall the one at Brands in the 80s I went to had a Kart during the performance the wheel fell off due to sheared axle luckily without injury.

#6 Geoff E

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 21:10

Three riders in this one

#7 D-Type

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 22:34

That's exactly what I mean :up:

But my memory suggests the globe I saw was smaller. But who knows after 50 years!

#8 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 23:33

I've only ever seen the globes on film. Last time I saw a wall of death in operation would have been in the late 80s: one used to turn up at Totnes Agricultural Show some years. As I recall it was an original one from the 20s or 30s.

#9 ronmac

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 23:42

:wave: HI...In New Zealand and Australia,,World Champion Speedway Rider ,,Ronnie Moore
and his father Les Moore travelled around Australasia in the side show area at Agricultural and
Pastural Shows..Displaying their skill 0n the Wall of Death..Very noisey and very clever ,,when
they passed each other half way..The rider at the top ,coming down first..
That was the 1950 and 1960.s ..only 50/60 years ago.!!

#10 RStock

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 00:28

That's exactly what I mean :up:

But my memory suggests the globe I saw was smaller. But who knows after 50 years!


Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I think the one I saw years ago was smaller as well, and raised in the air. Like 20 or so feet in the air. It would be around 40 years since I saw it.

Edited by REDARMYSOJA, 05 October 2011 - 00:47.


#11 kaydee

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 05:01

There used to be a "Globe of Death" doing the rounds of the agricultural shows in Australia some 50 years ago featuring the "Dare Devil Durkins"
They had 2 riders in at the same time - one looping horizontally and one vertically.

I have since seen a Globe of Death in China with 5 riders - two looping horizontally, two vertically and one diagonally!

However, checking on YouTube I found this one with 7 riders...
http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

Edited by kaydee, 05 October 2011 - 05:25.


#12 Repco22

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 05:01

:wave: HI...In New Zealand and Australia,,World Champion Speedway Rider ,,Ronnie Moore
and his father Les Moore travelled around Australasia in the side show area at Agricultural and
Pastural Shows..Displaying their skill 0n the Wall of Death..Very noisey and very clever ,,when
they passed each other half way..The rider at the top ,coming down first..
That was the 1950 and 1960.s ..only 50/60 years ago.!!

Ron, I remember a "globe of death" at the Perth Royal Show in the fifties. The team was called "Daredevil Durkins" and I have an idea the Australian and inaugural speedway world champion [1936], the late Lionel Van Praag, rode with them. Probably ten years later there was a globe set up on farmland in what was then a Perth outer suburb and some riders were practising in it. Most recently I've seen film of a girl standing in a globe while two bikes circled around and over her. Can't recall where that was but she possibly had a death-wish! :well:

#13 David McKinney

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 06:02

:wave: HI...In New Zealand and Australia,,World Champion Speedway Rider ,,Ronnie Moore
and his father Les Moore travelled around Australasia in the side show area at Agricultural and
Pastural Shows..Displaying their skill 0n the Wall of Death..Very noisey and very clever ,,when
they passed each other half way..The rider at the top ,coming down first..
That was the 1950 and 1960.s ..only 50/60 years ago.!!

I remember being amazed when visiting the Wall of Death at one of the Wairarapa A&P shows in 1960 to see that one of the riders was the reigning world speedway champion

#14 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 07:10

I remember seeing Les and Ronnie Moore's Wall Of Death show in Christchurch

#15 cdrewett

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:23

I don't know whether this should be on the "Motorcycle racing" forum. Sight of the "Wall of Death" at the Revival plus a couple of mentions on here brought back a couple of memories. In the sixties when 'the circus came to town' in Nairobi, Kenya it featured a "Globe of death". A sphere of steel or aluminium mesh with two intrepid motorcyclists - at one stage one was doing horizontal circles and the other was doing vertical ones. Can anybody else remember seeing one of these anywhere?


We've had one at the Prescott Autumn Classic meeting for the last two years, the latest last weekend. Apparently there are still 3 operating in this country, two of them at least still using 1920's Indian Bikes. It was hugely popular, and we hope to have one at next year's Coventry Festival of Motoring.
Chris

#16 LotusElise

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 09:23

We've had one at the Prescott Autumn Classic meeting for the last two years, the latest last weekend. Apparently there are still 3 operating in this country, two of them at least still using 1920's Indian Bikes. It was hugely popular, and we hope to have one at next year's Coventry Festival of Motoring.
Chris


The Ken Fox Troupe has two Walls, and they use some old Indians, as well as a kart and a more modern bike. I've had the pleasure of watching their show a couple of times now.

I've never seen a Globe of Death, but I'd like to.

#17 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 09:26

They have been at Race Retro a couple of times. Well worth the £5

#18 Darren Galpin

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 09:45

They did them with cars too, having a wall of death at Venice Pier in California in 1912. Hal Shain died on the 29th December when he lost control of the car, slid down to the bottom and then shot over the top into the spectators. The wall was 70 feet in diameter, and required a speed of 55 mph to run perpendicularlly.

#19 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:50

There used to be A Wall Of Death' attraction at Barnet Fair during the 1950's, usually next door to the boxing booth. I went to see the 'daredevil speed demons' once, but thought that it all looked rather easy. The boxing booth seemed far more dangerous to me!.

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#20 David Beard

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 11:55

There used to be A Wall Of Death' attraction at Barnet Fair during the 1950's, usually next door to the boxing booth. I went to see the 'daredevil speed demons' once, but thought that it all looked rather easy. The boxing booth seemed far more dangerous to me!.


Having been impressed and fascinated with the Wall of Death that appeared at Race Retro a year or two ago, I bought a book called “Riding the Wall of Death” by Allan Ford and Nick Corble, published in 2006. I can recommend it: it presents a fascinating history. There is a whole chapter on globes, but I don’t think there is reference to one still in operation, without checking
From this book I identified the Wall at Race Retro as being the Ken Fox one. The one at the Revival this year doesn’t figure in the book: I think it is a relatively recent restoration of a twenties wall. Nice to see it utilised the obligatory Indians.

Goodwood Revival Wall:
http://www.demondrom...emon Drome.html

They made a great play on running an Austin 7 racer. Not sure how genuine it was, but it could have done with a bit more power for the job in hand, it seemed to me.

I managed a video clip:
http://www.flickr.co.../in/photostream


#21 Herbert Austin

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 18:08

Ken Fox brings his Wall of Death to the Great Dorset Steam Fair every year along with Ron Taylors boxing booth, the Dr Haze Freak Show and a huge steam powered fun fair. The site is massive with hundreds of traction engines, lorries, cars and the like enjoyed by 250,00 visitors. I think WB made a point about visiting at least one steam fair and one airshow a year and GDSF is worth a visit at least once, but be warned - Goodwood it ain't!

#22 David Beard

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 18:19

Ken Fox brings his Wall of Death to the Great Dorset Steam Fair every year along with Ron Taylors boxing booth, the Dr Haze Freak Show and a huge steam powered fun fair. The site is massive with hundreds of traction engines, lorries, cars and the like enjoyed by 250,00 visitors. I think WB made a point about visiting at least one steam fair and one airshow a year and GDSF is worth a visit at least once, but be warned - Goodwood it ain't!


Dorset steam fair is on my list of things to do...



#23 Amphicar

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 18:42

I recall seeing a wall of death at the Hoppings on Newcastle Town Moor in the early 1970s - aah the smell of hot bike engines and candyfloss!

#24 Bob Riebe

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 18:49

I saw my first Wall of Death put on by one of the traveling carnivals that hit town celebrations and county fairs fifty some years ago.

My dad remarked they were using old Indian motorcycles, which was the first time I found out such a motorcycle existed.

#25 Geoff E

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 18:55

There was a Globe of Death at Welland Vintage Vehicle "do" last year.

Six in a globe here http://www.infernalv...rld-record.html

#26 David McKinney

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 19:48

Am I right in thinking the Moores used Indians? ronmac?

#27 elansprint72

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 20:28

There was a globe of death at Belle Vue fun-fair in Manchester UK (adjacent to the Speedway). It was there for many years and housed indoors; it was about the size of the one shown.
The bikes they used were ancient, probably from the 1930s, with long slim fuel tanks (I'm no bike expert!).


Some great Speedway and Stock Car photos here:

Belle Vue

#28 LotusElise

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 20:30

Ken Fox brings his Wall of Death to the Great Dorset Steam Fair every year along with Ron Taylors boxing booth, the Dr Haze Freak Show and a huge steam powered fun fair. The site is massive with hundreds of traction engines, lorries, cars and the like enjoyed by 250,00 visitors. I think WB made a point about visiting at least one steam fair and one airshow a year and GDSF is worth a visit at least once, but be warned - Goodwood it ain't!


Do they still have the music stage in the evenings, with acts like The Wurzels?
I've been a couple of times, last time in about 1996.

#29 David Beard

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 20:54

The bikes they used were ancient, probably from the 1930s, with long slim fuel tanks (I'm no bike expert!


Have to be Indian Scouts, Pete. ( I'm beginning to want one...Burt Munro and all this)



#30 Nick Barltrop

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 21:12

There are two or three globes working with touring circuses in the UK this year, one of the best is with Zippos Circus, three (modern) bikes working at the same time. They will be at Hyde Park as part of the Christmas Winter Wonderland event. These things tend to go in cycles (no pun intended...) and the current crop of globe acts are mostly from Brazil.


#31 ronmac

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 09:40

:cat: Sorry for the delay,David..I went to Brisbane to have lunch with R.Rutherford.so
Just catching up.
Re wall of death motorcycles,,I was too young ,,all motorcycles were the same.then.!!

#32 elansprint72

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 09:57

.........................and the current crop of globe acts are mostly from Brazil.



That figures; most of the nuts come from there. :rolleyes:

#33 Lemnpiper

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:32



Hi All,


Walls of Death used to be a part of the Virginia State fair here in the USA each year when it came to town up til the early 1970's.

The last one i saw was in the mid 1990's after a long long absence and it featured Indian Scout motorcyles due to their wheelbase size and rather low torque engine which seemed to do the best on the wall. One of the rides explained thae once you got used to the visuals you could ride without holding onto the handlebars since the bike would track in a straightline around the wall.
Also some riders with good balance could sit side-saddle on the bike as it circulated the barrel. Or sit astride the bike and as fans held out dollar bills the riders could ride by and snatch them form the audience's hands.

Keep in mind usually there was a painted line around the barrel about 18 inches from the very top which the riders could use to make sure they werent drifting up too high and potenbtially flying out of the barrel.And Fans wernt in actualy contract with the barrel since there were support wires keepin the audience about 3 or 4 inches back , while still allowing the dollar bill traick to still be carried out.


I'm not sure if anyone with a Wall of death is currently plying the fair circuit at this time since i havent seen one at the Va State fair since that mid 1990's one off appearance.But if you ever have the opportunity to see one in action , (while it may seem a bit cheesy), you will have a decent time as the riders go round and around.



Paul



#34 E1pix

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:10

Great description, Lemnpiper, I do remember more now from your words. It seems our State Fair version in Milwaukee had a rudimentary catch fence in case one ran "too high." I do barely remember lines to maintain "track" position now also. I thought it all so very cool.

I wouldn't be surprised that if the Wall concept died here in the States, it came down to liability.

#35 dbltop

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:18

I remember seeing a wall of death in an old Elvis Presley movie. Can't remember the name of it but Barbara Stanwyck was in it too.

#36 dbltop

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:22

Roustabout

#37 Catalina Park

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:40

There is a bloke on youtube that decided to make his own wall of death, it is hilarious! (warning some language and bad spelling!)

Building the wall of death.
Attempting to ride the wall of death without enough power
Successful run.

#38 E1pix

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 08:05

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

It should be International Law.... okay, too much.... Nostalgia Forum Law that requires watching these! Too Much!

Edited by E1pix, 07 October 2011 - 08:09.


#39 ronmac

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 08:42

:wave: Just spotted advert on T.V. Michael Edgleys....MOSCOW CIRCUS..
Tweed Heads,,Australia..(Border of Queensland and New South Wales)
Includes 4 Daredevils on Motor cycles in Globe of Death. Oct.5 till Oct 16.
Admission Cost..$16 to $60......(Google Moscow Circus )(Book Now...??)

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#40 Paolo

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 15:26

There was a globe of death, made of metal mesh in Napoli's amusement park, "Edenlandia". It was 35-40 years ago. I remember seeing it as a kid but never saw the bikers doing the show: probably they ran only in certain hours. I was fascinated by it, gladly I finally saw the Youtube videos.

#41 eldougo

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 05:54

Found this it looks like what i have seen out here in OZ.


http://en.wikipedia....010-ffm-239.jpg