In 1920, a young boy hid in
the bar of his father's pub, the Carpenter's Arms on Newfoundland Street,
Bristol, eavesdropping on the regulars.
They were having a whip-round
to buy a barrel that was to end up carrying a daredevil over Niagara
That boy was Kelly Windsor
Some 90 years on, Kelly has
been finding out more about who the barrel was for and whether it made it
to the bottom of Niagara Falls in one piece.
There was one man in Bristol
at that time who might take on such a feat: Charles Stephens, also known
as the Demon Barber of Bedminster.
Infamous for his stunts
locally, the Demon Barber had a shop on West Street. He took
every opportunity to perform daring stunts like rescuing damsels in
distress and parachuting from hot air balloons.
Bristolians still remember his
antics: "We used to tell the children that if they were naughty we would
send them to Stephens the barbers," recalls Amy Pruit of St Annes.
Stephens' greatest dream was
to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel in a bid to guarantee fame and
fortune - and he spent 11 years of his life planning it.