Photo: Illustrative image for the 'THE GREAT HIGH BOARD DIVER PERRY BLAKE' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'THE GREAT HIGH BOARD DIVER PERRY BLAKE' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'THE GREAT HIGH BOARD DIVER PERRY BLAKE' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'THE GREAT HIGH BOARD DIVER PERRY BLAKE' page
Photo:Perry Blake and me Daniel Burnip at George Baines Water Follies Great Yarmouth 1959

Perry Blake and me Daniel Burnip at George Baines Water Follies Great Yarmouth 1959

George Baines Water Follies Great Yarmouth-Article from Eastern Evening News 1959- Interview Perry Blake.

By Daniel Burnip

Newspaper article from Rita Stone aqua belle collection featuring Perry Blake at George Baines Water Follies 1959.

As written in the Eastern Evening News. August Friday 28th interview with High Board Diver Perry Blake.

Terrified dives from 70ft without a qualm.

Twice daily Perry Blake, high diving star of the George Baines Aqua Show, climbs up a 70ft tower and plunges nonchalantly into six feet of water in Yarmouth swimming pool and surfaces to the accompaniment of enthusiastic applause from a thrilled and relieved audience. But Perry has done it so often now that he feels neither concern for a dive or relief afterwards. But he remembers vividly his first high dive...It Was at Morecambe in 1952.He dived from 85ft with no audience at all and he was terrified every inch of the way-up and down! Until he joined the George Baines Aqua Show. Perry had never dived from more than 30ft.When I signed up with George Baines I asked him what he wanted me to do and he said normal dives from 30ft and one from a tower a bit higher, he recalls. LONG DROP' I didn't see the tower until the night before I dived from it, I went to the pictures with some of the others in the show, and when I came out onto Morecambe sea front there it was."I was terrified just looking at it. I sat and had a cup of tea and gazed up at it. I couldn't take my eyes off it" Next morning I got up early and went to have a look at it. I thought " well I've got to have a go , so with nobody about I went into the pool , climbed up and dived. It was quite a good dive too. Eighty-Five feet is the highest Perry has dived from. That was into 15ft of water . At Yarmouth because of the position of the tower, he dives into only six foot, which means the tower cannot be higher than 70ft. Perry began diving when he was 12 and turned professional when he was 19  after becoming the R.A.F diving champion during his National Service. He worked in two aqua shows one of them on the stage before signing up as a high diver with George Baines. Until he did that he had no intentions of becoming a high diver. Now his ambition is to dive higher much higher than 85 feet and he would dearly love to take part in the world high diving championships in America. Diving in that competition is from as high as 130 feet, and Perry is sure he could do it better than the Americans." I've seen the films of the championships," he says. I know I can do better than that." Perry who ways 17 stone prides himself on diving well." I try to make every dive perfect ," he says " Its not just a matter of hurling myself from a great height like some other high divers." What would happen if he made a mistake? I'd rather not think about it." he admits." But my insurance is pretty heavy ."

I hope you enjoyed reading this article on Perry Blake I found this cutting amongst my mums Aqua show photos and thought it would be of interest to many of you who had known or new of The Great Perry Blake.

I hope to add more photos of Perry Blake to this page soon, if you have any photos or articles on Perry you would like me to include on my Perry Blake page I will gladly include them.

I have recently set up a Just Giving page in Memory of My mum Rita Stone who met my dad at one of the George Baines aqua shows in Great Yarmouth in the 50s, in aid of The Born Free Foundation, if those of you who remember Rita would like to donate you can do so by visiting Just Giving page add Rita Burnip all donations are safe and secure, you can also donate by texting 70070 FUCR72.All donations very much appreciated. Comments can be left along with your donation if you choose.

Many Thanks for your interest.

Kind Regards.

Daniel Burnip.

Please note all photos are copyrighted and by no means should be copied.

This page was added by Daniel Burnip on 04/06/2014.
Comments about this page

I stumbled across this page purely by chance and couldn't believe my luck.

When I knew him Perry used to work in my local swimming baths (Laurie Grove Baths, New Cross, London) as a life guard through the winter season until his return to Great Yarmouth in the summer. he used to entertain the public with his daring by diving from the 1st floor balcony into the shallow end of the pool. I know this doesn't compare to the real show but everyone was seriously impressed.

Like a lot of the kids of the era I was let loose to go swimming everyday during the school holidays, parents just bought a season ticket and kicked us out in the morning to spend the day at the pool.

It was during the Easter holidays of 1959 when I was 7 that I first ran into Perry and he took me under his wing, teaching me a few dives. I had done a bit of gymnastics and trampolining and loved diving from the outset, especially showing off to my mates by being able to do a couple of dives from the top board, all of 12 foot 6 inches, most people would only jump from that height. 

Perry suggested I looked for a proper club to join as he thought I showed promise so I joined the Woolwich Diving Club and worked hard to eventually compete in Kent and Southern Counties competitions. From here I was scouted by the Highgate Diving Club which led to diving at national level in the 60s. Whatever success I had I owe it all to Perry who was so generous with his time back in the day.

By Kim Harris
On 14/11/2019

Like Kim I also remembered Perry when he was a life guard at Laurie road baths in Deptford south east London. I used to go to the baths as often as I could and would stay for hours espy when Perry was entertaining us. This was around 1956. Unfortunately the baths closed and (were)bought by the London university Goldsmiths College. I had so much fun there it had the only wooden slide from the balcony into the deep end I had ever seen. I have some great memories of Perry and Laurie Grove. These were happy childhood memories for me

Dave Clark


By David clark
On 05/06/2020

My Dad Don also new Perry from Laurie Road Baths and loved telling us about their antics at the shows!

By Sam berwick
On 02/07/2022

It's so lovely to read how lovely Perry was to you all. I grew up knowing that he was a great diver and on the odd occasion I would swim at the pool. Perry was my famous great uncle.

By Lynn Kent
On 18/07/2023

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