|April 22, 1977||INDEX|
|"Are you hurt, I said? A dazed Kid Corrigan shook his head as he dragged himself from the dirt, removed his smashed crash helmet and propped himself up against his bicycle.|
|The kid, aptly named as he is only 13, had jumped across 15 milk crates on a pedal cycle.
Unfortunately, he had landed on the last crate, lost his balance and ploughed straight into a nearby grass bank.
The bank is an essential part of the Kid's equipment as his bike is not equipped with modern conveniences like brakes.
He needs the steep hill to slow him down after performing this remarkable stunts.
These stunts could be called injury defying except for the fact that he rarely seems to come through unscathed.
The Kid, who lives at Thornhill Road, Leyton, has since his tenth birthday been emulating his idol Evel Knievel.
But in those three years he has had to take 12 months off because of injuries.
Apart from numerous cuts, grazes, scratches, bruises, sprains, strains and scars he has seven stitches in his upper thighs as a result of his stunts.
But nothing so far has swayed the Kid, also known as Laurence to his schoolmates, from the ambition of becoming a stunter or a speedway rider.
As befits a big crowd puller like the Kid-- well there were about a dozen youngsters watching at Leyton Marshes when he did his thing last week-- he has an anxious manager to look after him and keep the crowd under control.
As the count down began for the major crate jumping event 12-year-old Larry Day was there tightening loose bolts on the bike and straightening the ramp to make sure that everything was ready for the jump.
But the dedication which young Mr Day, who lives at Dunedin Road, Leyton, shows now was not always in evidence.
When the Kid first started jumping he was more fond of clearing people than milk crates.
He had managed to persuade two likely lads to lie down but young Larry had no intentions of becoming the third target.
That was before the Kid had shown what he could do and now his manager maintains manfully that he would be perfectly prepared to lie down on the job.
The Kid has had half a dozen incidents he describes as "major accidents". His bike is always having to be repaired-- handlebars only last a few jumps at best.
What does Dad think of the hobby? "They do no harm' he says. "They are only having fun. They are better off enjoying themselves here than on the streets.
What about the injuries then? "I don't think there's much danger, Matthew Corrigan replied.
The Kid's record jump is the clearance of 15 crates but he had been planning to attempt 20 for some time.
This target is still his ambition until he's old enough to get down to the real thing-- like jumping over buses.
In case any milkman is worried about where all these crates are coming from the Kid assures us that he borrows them from local shopkeepers who are keen to help when he explains why they are needed.
|Waltham Forest Guardian, April 22, 1977.||INDEX