A new date for the Big Bash Scotland Wing Walk, with all proceeds going to north east cancer charity UCAN, has been announced after the event had to be postponed last month due to cross winds. It will now take place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September and there are still a very limited number of places available for anyone wishing to take part.
The Big Bash Scotland featured the stars of Emmerdale raising funds for UCAN with all monies raised staying right here in the north east of Scotland.
If you’d like to donate click on the link Gayle Stephen is fundraising for UCAN (justgiving.com). Alternatively, if you wish to take part yourself, simply visit the Big Bash website.
A HISTORY OF WINGWALKING
Wingwalking initially arose out of practicality, Pilots would often need to venture onto the Wings of their planes in flight in order to make technical adjustments and fix broken parts.
The earliest documented case of Wingwalking was as early as 1911, but it was Army Pilot Ormer Locklear who first saw the potential commercial appeal of Wingwalking. On November 8, 1918, Locklear wowed the crowd at Barron Field, Texas, with his daredevil wing-walking stunts. Wingwalking was seen as an extreme form of Barnstorming, and Wingwalkers would constantly take up the challenge of outdoing one another at these so-called Flying Circuses and with the end of the First World War Aircraft were in plentiful supply and cheap to buy. Locklear also took his skills to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood where he worked with greats like Cecil B. de Mille (The Great Air Robbery).
Locklears female equivalent and the first woman to switch planes in the air was the aptly named Ethel Dare. One of Dares most famous stunts was the “Iron Jaw Spin” during which she would suspend herself by rope with a special mouthpiece, and twirl non stop in the planes propwash!
The fact that Dare along with other Women were so heavily involved in such a spectacle at a time when they didn’t even have the right to vote was both remarkable and liberating.
Throughout the 1920s, Flying Circuses travelled around America spreading the news of aviation, “looping the loop”, parachute jumping, Wingwalking and taking bystanders who wanted to be part of the action for exhilarating flights – The first form of commercial aviation!
On arrival in an area Pilots would fly low over villages in order to get peoples attention and attract a crowd. Over time their stunts would get progressively more daring as they sought to attract paying customers and hold everyone’s attention, Stunts included mid-air handstands, target shooting and even games of tennis, most of which were performed without any kind of safety harness or cables! After the end of a long day barn storming Pilots would often then spend the night in the Farmers Barn – hence the name “Barn Storming”.
Eventually, in 1936 the Flying Circuses were banned by the American government who were keen to promote commercial transport flying and considered the Flying Circuses to be too dare-devil.