Nelson firm’s ‘Wall of Death’ in Guy Martin stunt show

Nick Hirst (left) and Neil Hirst (right) of Pendle Slot Racing with Guy Martin. (S)
Nick Hirst (left) and Neil Hirst (right) of Pendle Slot Racing with Guy Martin. (S)

A Nelson company has built a scale version of the Wall of Death to feature in an Easter Monday world record attempt.

Pendle Slot Racing was commissioned to build a Scalextric scale replica of the famous stunt wall that involves a daredevil riding a motorcycle around its vertical sides at high speeds.

The spectacle, which dates back to the early 1900s and became a popular staple of travelling fairgrounds across America and Britain, will be attempted on live TV tomorrow night by motorcycle racer Guy Martin.

The Wall of Death, a barrel-shaped wooden cylinder that can range from around six to 11m in diameter, is ridden by a rider who will usually perform stunts using a motorcycle while riding around the vertical wall using the centripetal force to keep both the bike and rider in place.

Motorbike ace Guy has been learning to ride along a vertical wall at high speed while training his brain to cope with intense motion sickness.

He will also have to handle extreme G-forces usually only experienced by seasoned fighter pilots as he attempts to ride the largest ever Wall of Death at a massive 40m in diameter and at speeds of up to 80mph.

Brothers Neil and Nick Hirst, from Pendle Slot Racing, hope their version of the wall will make the cut in the build-up of the stunt show on Channel 4 which starts at 7-15pm tomorrow. They will also have front row seats for the audacious live challenge.

Neil said: “We were contacted back in February 2015 by TV production company North One Television about the possibility of recreating a Scalextric scale replica of the Wall of Death, potentially for use as a pre-show feature in the Channel 4 ‘Speed with Guy Martin’ programme.

“Guy Martin was going to attempt a world speed record live on Channel 4, to ride over 80mph on an oversized version of the Wall of Death.

“All the programmes with Guy Martin are very interesting and usually entertaining, so this project was very appealing to us.

“We travelled to Lincolnshire for filming, where Cambridge Professor Hugh Hunt explained the science behind the stunt using our scaled version of the Wall of Death track.

“It was a great experience, seeing how sections of these programmes are made. The people at North One TV really looked after us, and Guy Martin was just how he comes across on TV, he showed great interest in how we built the track and the mechanical aspects of slot cars.

“Hopefully our footage will make the cut in the pre-show feature.

“We have been invited to watch the live show, so we are really looking forward to seeing the largest ever Wall of Death and hopefully a speed record.

“Our Scalextric version of the Wall of Death will be available for public use at the UK Slot Car Festival we organise. It is held at the British motor museum in Warwickshire on May 14th and 15th.”