Barrow’s Rotary Gala brought together thousands for a daredevil show

SOME 4,000 South Cumbrians were treated to extravagant entertainment at the Rotary Club of Barrow Gala at Furness Abbey Amphitheater in 1994.

The event featured daredevil stuntmen, parachutes, side shows and attractions galore.

Mark Stannage celebrated his birthday by jumping through hoops of fire on his motorcycle in a stunning new addition to the annual gala.

But that was nothing compared to being the last man at the end of an 80ft jump performed by fellow Stunt World Fiona Beale.

With hearty applause and cheers ringing in her ears, 23-year-old Fiona cleared the jump with unerring ease, flying through the air at around 60mph on her Cr Honda 250cc trials bike.

Then she said, “If you’ve never ridden a bike before, it sounds extremely difficult, but you get used to it.”

When asked who should be feeling more nervous, her or the 21 brave volunteers below, she replied, “I should tell them because they don’t know what to expect.”

The leader of the Stunt World team was world record holder James Dylan, 45.

The gala also featured 13 classic motorcycles, shown courtesy of the Furness British Motorcycle Club.

Ulverston lollipop man and 70-year-old club member Arthur Cottiss was in attendance.

He had one of the newer bikes on display – his own Kawazaki GPZ 500cc.

“I’m the fastest lollipop man in the West,” he laughed.

All the bikes were owned by members of the club, who met fortnightly at the Bay Horse in Ireleth.

Other gala entertainment included the Karelles acrobatic team.

There was also an incredible display of canine agility from the Barrow dog training class.

Glynis Murray was just one of the members leading the 15 pets around a series of obstacles.

Heads turned to the skies as the Lancaster-based Black Knights skydiving team prepared to jump from a Cessna plane. Colin Whittaker, 37, landed his 1,000th jump in 45 seconds.

Maria R. Newman