Close escape for Bradford 'Houdini' in burning rope charity stunt (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Close escape for Bradford 'Houdini' in burning rope charity stunt
8:12pm Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
Bradford’s very own Houdini found his latest daring escape act to be a bit of a pain in the bottom.
Daredevil escapologist Antony Britton had just wriggled out of a straightjacket while hanging 50 feet upside down over a river when one of the burning ropes supporting him came loose.
It swung down and hit Mr Britton, setting his rear-end on fire while stunned crowds looked on in horror on Hallowe’en night.
He had planned to be back on solid ground before any of the three ropes burnt through.
Mr Britton, who emerged unscathed thanks to protective under-clothing, was on fire for between 30 seconds and one minute before he was lowered to a safety boat.
He managed to successfully complete the charity stunt, which took place above the River Calder at the Wakefield Wharf Company in Wakefield, and has so far raised about £1,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus yesterday, Mr Britton laughed off the incident but said: “It was scary!
“I had managed to get my arms into a position to start getting the straightjacket off, then the rope came down with the wind and made contact with me and set me on fire. It ruined my jeans!”
Mr Britton admitted he was lucky to escape with just some damaged jeans, as other things almost conspired against him.
He said the rain made it harder for him to get out of the straightjacket, resulting in him purposely popping his shoulder out of its socket to make the escape easier.
Also, the windy conditions caused the ropes to burn quicker than he was expecting.
“If all three ropes had burnt through, I would have had a splash-landing in the cold river with its strong currents,” said Mr Britton, who got hooked on escapology when he was just six listening to his grandfather’s tales of Harry Houdini.
His escapes so far have included being buried alive and getting out from a wooden crate laced with explosives and chains. He has also picked his way through handcuffs, locks and shackles as well as escaping from ropes, steel cages and glass chambers.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/escapeforlife.