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Thousands throng to Devizes to watch high-wire walk
9:31am Tuesday 27th August 2013 in News
News of Chris Bull’s record-breaking high-wire walk across Devizes Market Place had spread far and wide so that thousands of people had gathered there at 4.15pm yesterday to watch.
Mr Bull appeared on the rooftop of the Gaiger’s building, formerly the home of Polly Tea Rooms, immaculate in top hat and frock coat, waxed moustache and goatee beard. He waved to the crowd and then disappeared again to groans from the audience.
But a few moments later he was back with his balancing pole and started on his way along the 45-metre route to the top floor of Strakers estate agents.
A third of the way he stopped, bent down and sat on the wire. As if that was not impressive enough, he lay on the wire then produced from his pocket a rope with a hook attached which he lowered to his female assistant, also dressed in Victorian costume, on the ground.
She hooked on a teapot and cup which Mr Bull hauled up, helped himself to a cup of tea and lowered the rope down again before rising to his feet and continuing on his way. When he arrived at Strakers there was a roar from the crowd but the performance was not half over.
He turned and walked back, removing a handkerchief from his pocket and sprinkled rose petals on the crowd. Halfway back he kneeled on the wire and raised his hat, releasing more petals. His arrival back on the roof of Gaiger’s was greeted with wild cheers and prolonged applause.
Although the festival continued for another two hours, many saw this as the grand finale and made their way out of the Market Place and home for tea.
Although it is not the longest walk Mr Bull has accomplished - his recent feat at Glastonbury Festival was 120 metres - it is thought to be the longest high-wire walk by anyone in a town centre in England.