Bouncing Billy Barker of Gorton, Manchester, could jump across the local canal from a standing start. Used weights to gain momentum and 'skimmed' like a stone apparantly. Won many a bet and escaped from the local constabulary by the same means after some more nefarious activities as well! He could also jump over a horse from a standing start and was regarded by many as a local sporting hero. I think Tony Hill wrote the song with the chorus -
"It's impossible, it can't be done
cried many a remarker.
But now who's heard of Gorton town,
and Bouncing Billy Barker?"
Dave the Gnome