Last year, I asked readers to show support for the Express & Star in their bid to gain funding to digitise and open to the public their photo archive – a huge treasury of newspaper images that current exist in print form only.
Chris Leggett, who’s worked hard on the bid, continues to tweet and post to Facebook exactly the kind of fascinating and evocative images that would become available to us all and make the whole project worthwhile.
This week, Chris released an image that shocked many people.
Chris had this to say about this remarkable photo:
Possibly the best photo we’ve published yet. Award nominated picture from July 7th 1973 – Bulmers skydiver Kenneth Cornwell caught by his parachute on overhead cables at Aldridge summer show. A helicopter tried to winch him free. The rope snapped, sending the skydiver to ground missing the safety net pictured. The helicopter crashed, bursting into flames. Crew escaped. Express & Star photographer Geoff Wright highly commended in national competition.
There must be someone out there who recalls this remarkable and horrifying incident. Chris, who has connections in Aldridge, would particularly like to know where it happened; we both agree that in the fields near Mill Green, Little Aston seems likely.
The story even made The Kentucky Daily News, of July 9th, 1973, which gives more detail:
Please, if you have any recollections or memories of this shocking accident, please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.
On a lighter note, Chris also turned up this image, also causing a bit of a stir:
This is ‘Brownhills Stuntman’ Malcolm Wright riding a bike off a ramp into Stowe Pool, in Lichfield, in 1977 as part of an event referred to as a ‘Regatta’. He was billed as ‘Brownhills answer to Evil Knievel’.
You know what I’m going to ask: who is this chap, what happened to him and is he still around? More to the point, who’s the diver? That’s a great photograph. Please, please, please – anything you know about this chap, please comment or mail me. He looks like fun.
If you would like to support the Express & Star photo bid, please send a letter of support to: Chris Leggett, Brand and communications manager, Express & Star, 51-53 Queen Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1ES. Or email: email@example.com
You could always Like the Express & Star photo bid on Facebook while you’re about it.