The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #73132 Message #1406057
Posted By: GUEST,Jed, Newton Heath
11-Feb-05 - 01:10 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Bouncing Billy Barker
Subject: RE: Folklore: Bouncing Billy Barker
The man in question was William Scruton, late of Woodhouse St in Gorton. He was my grandfather.
He used to do feats of strength and jumping tricks at the music halls. Also he would make money by betting a crowd that he could jump the canal locks in Openshaw - then make some more by jumping the lock backwards.
As a true showman he would often do his jumping feats with a heavy weight in each hand. Only close friends and family knew his secret - that this was not a handicap, but he actually used the momemtum of the swinging weights to jump further, giving the impression that he was bouncing off the canal water or in and out of a barrel of eggs.
I'm very proud that so many people remember him.