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1912: Daredevil headstand on the battlements

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

Is this what the daredevil did, do you think? A photo montage simulation of the Brookshaw feat.

These few words taken from an article of a talk given by Canon Cooper in 1912 sends shivers down the spine - and no - do not endeavour to try copying this! Here is the article extract:

Formerly it was only Cuckfield gossip, much of it personal: of how one of the Brookshaws stood on his head on the cornerstone of the Church battlement, of the vast number of coaches that passed through, what a strange man was old Sam Waller, how some vicious person had dammed up the water in the Park and tried to wash away Mr Caffyn’s new mill by letting it all out in the night, the mystery of the lost heiress of the Sergison estates, of how the carters returning in winter from market were obliged to get past the Park gates before dark or the horses broke into a sweat and tremble and refused to move, such was the influence of the haunted gates.


Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 17 December 1912

NOTE. Here is something that may explain the confidence behind this stunt. John Brookshaw was born in Sussex was a chimney sweep who lived in Crown Cottages. In 1901 John was 31 married to Jessie and had four daughters and two sons. The first arrived when Jessie was 20, four arriving with one year's interval. But his dad (almost certainly) was Charles Brookshaw who was 51 in 1891, also born in Cuckfield, and was also a chimney sweep - so take your pick!

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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