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Topic: World record breaking escapes for charity - Press release
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Oct 10, 2004 05:15PM)
Hi everyone

The below will be released to the press tommorow, but I thought you would all appreciate an advance look. The email address and website are not live yet, but they will be in the next few hours.


Circus performer to smash four world records and raise thousands for homeless charity

In an effort to raise £10,000 for the homeless charity The Big Issue, circus sideshow performer and escape artist David Straitjacket, who performs with The Freakshow and The Straitjacket Circus, will attempt to break four world records in one day, at the Arndale Centre, Manchester. The attempt will take place on the 15th January 2005. The event starts at 11am and goes on throughout the day.

David will attempt to set a new Guinness world record for escaping from a regulation straitjacket, and follow the stunt up by setting another record by escaping from the same jacket just a short while later, but this time with a new twist. He will be precariously balanced on stilts at the time! David is currently one of only a few people known to be able to free themselves from the Posey Straitjacket*, and the only person in the world who can escape from the restraint whilst balancing on stilts.

“The Posey straitjacket is unlike any medical restraint you are likely to have seen before. It has a series of security features which are not found in any other straitjacket and is a nightmare for any escape artist” said David, “Just escaping from it at all is a very difficult undertaking, but to do so once in record time, and then again while balancing on stilts will be a unique challenge. It’s going to be a very exciting day.”

The escapology records also commemorate the legend of Harry Houdini, who died in suspicious circumstances during Halloween in 1926.

Following the two straitjacket world record attempts David will then attempt a third amazing record challenge, this time attempting to break the world record for the fastest ever handcuff escape. The current record for this escape stands at just 10 seconds**. David will attempt to beat this time with a set of handcuffs borrowed from the Greater Manchester police force, the cuffs will also be checked by an independent assessor, and have the keyholes sealed to ensure that keys and picks cannot be used.

As if that is not enough David will end the day with a truly life threatening challenge. An attempt to break the world record for the bed of nails concrete block break. This record currently stands at 314.21 kg’s, and David will attempt to raise the figure to a massive 350 kg’s, that’s about the same weight as a small motorboat or a full grown male polar bear! In order to beat the record David will have all the blocks placed on his chest while he lies on the sharp bed containing several hundreds nails, the blocks will then be broken one by one with the aid of a sledgehammer until everyone single one is pulverised and David (hopefully) walks away with the fourth record of this amazing day.

David said, “This is the one that really scares me, for the other records failure would be embarrassing, with the risk of serious injury in the case of the stiltwalking escape. But for this one, failure could quite literally be deadly. Just the weight of the blocks alone is enough to crush a man, throw in the bed of sharp 6 inch nails and over a hundred impacts with a heavy sledgehammer and you have something awesome. I feel I am ready for this, but it will be the biggest challenge of my life, and I honestly don’t know what will happen at the end of it all. We shall see”

David will have a full medical team on site at all times, with the local hospital kept fully informed.

This time of the year is especially important for The Big Issue, The cold months of January and February are doubly hard on the UK’s estimated 380,000 homeless people*** who face an increasing challenge for their survival. It is hoped that this record will not only raise funds to help provide important medical treatment, shelter, food and housing, but that it will also help to raise awareness of this often ignored issue.

For more information, to make a donation and for sponsorship please visit the website at:


Contact name: David Straitjacket
Tel: 0161 283 8658
Mobile: 07986 235192
Email: david@thefreakshow.co.uk
Web: http://www.thefreakshow.co.uk

Event management
Contact name: Tony Hancock
Address: Events 21. Hyde Park House, Cartwright St, Hyde, Cheshire, SK14 4EH
Tel: 0161 367 1228
Mobile: 07906 440906
Email: tony@events21.com
Web: http://www.events21.com

Big Issue fundraising
Contact name: Emma or Tamara
Address: The Big Issue in the North, 135-141 Oldham St, Manchester, M4 1LL
Tel: 0161 279 7812
Mobile: 07969 636318
Web: http://www.bigissueinthenorth.com

* The JT Posey Company: 5635 Peck Rd. Arcadia, CA 91006-0020, USA
**Guinness World Records Ltd, 8th Floor, 338 Euston Rd, London NW1 3BD
***Crisis, 66 Commercial Street, London E1 6LT. TEL: 0870 011 3335 

PLEASE NOTE: Reporters, journalists and other interested parties are free to use quotes from the above as long as we are informed of publication. We can also supply a variety of photos for publication if you require: bigrecord@thefreakshow.co.uk
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Oct 10, 2004 06:17PM)
Hey Straitjacket Guy,
Your press realease shows what a "REAL PRO" you are.Keep up the good work as I know you will.
The best to you and your record breaking event,
Message: Posted by: KerryJK (Oct 10, 2004 06:29PM)
Wahey! Good luck with all the attempts, and cool PR!

Hope I can make it across the Pennines to see you do it all come the day, sounds like quite a show :)
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Oct 10, 2004 07:07PM)
Thanks Don and Helen :)

I have been working on this for quite some time, it great to finally be able to set the day.

And Mr Stuart Burrell, thank you for being so kind when I mentioned that I was thinking of attempting to break your record. Not only was Stuart more than happy for me to try, but he has helped me in my dealings with Guinness, and generally been great all round. I owe you one buddy ;)

Before the record website gets moved over to its proper server, I have put a test copy of the site at:


Please note, though all the pages are there it is not totally complete, and there is still proof reading to be done, so there may well be some mistakes.

Hope you like it.

David Straitjacket
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Oct 10, 2004 07:52PM)
I can sense Riley is going to Try and Be There this is one not to be missed
Message: Posted by: Daniel Santos (Oct 10, 2004 11:06PM)
Man, I wish I could be there to watch it! I wish you the best of luck not only in attempting to beat those records, but in your mission to increase the awareness of all the homeless and raise money for them.
Message: Posted by: escapologist2001 (Oct 11, 2004 05:56AM)
The very best of luck !!

The date is already in my diary - I'll be there.

Anything I can do to help, let me know.

Message: Posted by: Stuart Burrell (Oct 11, 2004 06:19AM)
Go for it David,

If anyone can pull it off (no pun intended) you can!
Message: Posted by: WEASEL DANDAW (Oct 11, 2004 07:12AM)
As Stuart said, "Go for it David".

I wish you the very best in all your attempts and don't forget your photographer.

Hope to see you at the UKEA,

Message: Posted by: pastorclyde (Oct 11, 2004 08:23AM)
Good luck! Please keep us posted with the results.
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Oct 11, 2004 09:28AM)
Good luck David. Now I'm living in Liverpool I'll certainly be popping over to lend my support.

Good Luck!

Message: Posted by: KerryJK (Oct 11, 2004 10:53AM)
Seems like there's a mini-convention building to watch this event; maybe we can all meet up to congratulate David afterwards :)
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Oct 11, 2004 11:06AM)
Good Press Release! Great idea! I wish I was there to cheer you on. Good Luck and break a chain!
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Oct 11, 2004 11:24AM)
Best of luck David. 4 times the fun!

PS. Be careful with that block and nail thing.
Message: Posted by: Riley (Oct 11, 2004 11:57AM)
On 2004-10-10 20:52, The Donster wrote:
I can sense Riley is going to Try and Be There this is one not to be missed

I've put the date in my diary.
Good luck David -- and well done in advance.
Manchester in my home town. I remember when the Arndale Centre was a chip shop :rotf:

Message: Posted by: AJP807 (Oct 11, 2004 01:05PM)
Best of luck David. It's a fantastic effort for a very noble cause. Make us all proud buddy!!!Wish I could be there.
Best regards, Tony Parisi
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Oct 11, 2004 02:20PM)
On 2004-10-11 11:53, HelenHeld wrote:
Seems like there's a mini-convention building to watch this event; maybe we can all meet up to congratulate David afterwards :)

You're on!

Message: Posted by: Steve Baker - Mr.Escape (Oct 11, 2004 04:30PM)

That's some goal you've set for yourself,
four records broken and set in one day!
Would love to be there to cheer you on,it's
a Great cause, so put your heart into it,and
it will take them 10 days to count the money!!

May It Be The BEST Day In Your Life So Far,

Steve Baker, MR. ESCAPE
Message: Posted by: x-treem (Oct 11, 2004 06:52PM)
Good luck Bro, I'll be thinking about you :)

So much for me shooting for Stu's record ;)
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Oct 11, 2004 07:13PM)
Thanks again for the amazing support everyone :) I will keep you all informed as I have more info.

All I know right now is its going to be a hell of a ride for the next few months.

Fitting in training is going to be the hardest part, what with all the organizational issues, and the fact that I have 22 gigs in December alone, I might have to set a world record for the best time management between now and then.


On 2004-10-11 11:53, HelenHeld wrote:
Seems like there's a mini-convention building to watch this event; maybe we can all meet up to congratulate David afterwards


Either that, or you can all bring flowers to the hospital!

KingStardog, believe me, I will be very careful indeed. I am not the usual big guy that attempts bed of nails records, so that one is going to be extra hard on me.


David Straitjacket
Message: Posted by: Dorian (Oct 12, 2004 02:23PM)
Best of luck!! Will you be video taping the event and putting it up on the site? I would love to see you break those records!

Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Oct 13, 2004 06:21PM)
Hi everyone

Just to let you all know that the big record website is now fully up at: http://www.thebigrecord.com

Please drop by and sign the guestbook, oh yes, and take a quick look at the donations and sponsorship pages :)

If anyone can offer any help it would be massively appreciated. I need the usual stuff, links from peoples websites, links on other forums, donations of money, time and first born children, tv and press contacts to chase up, I am also looking for a team to help out on the day. If you are interested please let me know.

Thanks again for all the support.

Message: Posted by: KerryJK (Oct 14, 2004 06:11AM)
I've added a link from my website; being childless and skint I can't help with the first born children bit (and the police are watching me in any case), but if you've got fliers/posters etc. you need putting out I'd be happy to help out covering West Yorkshire.

PS - I was kidding about the police. It's really MI5. ;)
Message: Posted by: WEASEL DANDAW (Oct 14, 2004 12:36PM)
Just added a link to the "Big Record"

Go for it David.
Message: Posted by: Cindi (Oct 15, 2004 07:20PM)
Go get 'em !

PS: Like your Radical Avi
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Oct 16, 2004 06:43PM)
Thanks Cindi :) Wot is a radical avi?

Helen and Weasel, thanks for the links guys and gals, I will put you links back on the big record site when I update, a day or two tops.


Message: Posted by: Cindi (Oct 16, 2004 09:58PM)
Avi is a nickname for the "photos" we use here :)

The C
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Oct 17, 2004 07:39AM)
Hi Cindi

I thought that was what you meant, but I also thought you could be referring to the avi format videos on my website. I am easily confused...

Message: Posted by: Kondini (Oct 17, 2004 12:17PM)
Good luck and break a leg (Well you know what I meen !!).
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Nov 14, 2004 08:26PM)
Hi Everyone

Just to let you know that the date of the event has been changed to January 8th. A few other things have to be switched around as well. This is because certain people involved in the event are not holding up there end of the work at all. Basically they are talking the P*ss and screwing it all up. The date change is one example of this, apart from taking a week off my training time, it has also meant having to start looking for record officials all over again, not good at all.

The event will go ahead even if it kills me, and I WILL break the records, it takes more than useless idiots to stop me!

For updated info click [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=96876&forum=18] HERE [/url]


Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Nov 14, 2004 11:05PM)
On 2004-11-14 21:26, Straitjacket Guy wrote:

it takes more than useless idiots to stop me!

Amen Brother. I went from Aug7 to Aug21 to Oct31st before the other folks could get it together on a date. Then three people crapped out on the day or night before. Plus numerous other things I didn't bring up.

Hang in there, and it will come together for you. Stay focused and determined. In your case there is more riding on it than just records. I know you will do fine.