AN ACROBAT'S TERRIBLE ACCIDENT.
INCIDENT OK AN ALEXANDRA PAL-
Latest English files contain reference to the terrible accident to Hardy, the American Blondin, brief reference to which was made, in the cable columns of the 'Star' some weeks ago. Hardy had been appearing spccessfuUy for some time at the Alexandra Palace, but just prior to the conclusion of his aerial performance on Wednesday,,-April 4, he met with the shocking accident which has since in all probability proved fatal. Having concluded a series of daring feats on the tight-rope, which is extended from one side of the great central hall to the other; at a height of some one hundred feet, he ascended to the roof to perform what is known as the 'long dive.'
As is usual, the band struck up a lively air when Hardy successfully leaped from the small platform, which is suspended in midair, and dropped into the net and rebounded to a considerable heignt. On again, however, striking the net, it, by Borne means unexplained, gave way, precipitating Hardy on to the orchestra stalls iVlth great force. Dr. Webster, of Muswell Hill, and other local, surgeons were called, and Hardy's injuries were pronounced serious. In addition to one of his legs being badly broken, he received terrible injuries to the head and body, and little hope was entertained of his recovery. '
' Two seasons ago, when the New Brighton. Tower Grounds were opened, Hardy was engaged there for practically the whole season, and excited great interest by his wonderful feats. Unlike his feats at the- Alexandra Palace, everything was done without any safeguardlhg-net/which of course made them all the more daring and added zest to the enjoyment of those who delighted in sensationalism. Many of the tricks were also achieved without the aid of a balancing-pole, and had an accident occurred he would have been precipitated on to the dancing platform, nearly a hundred feet below. But everything was carried out with mathematical accuracy of timing, and the only feat which could be styled blameworthy, apart from the general risk of such performances, was -done on a small trapeze suspended from the main wire. The acrobat would, seat himself on the bar of the trapeze, and then fall suddenly backwards, catching with his feet in the angle foi-m----ed by the junction of the bar and the suspending ■ ropes. The great risk of thia was not so much Inaccuracy on the part of Hardy ■ himself as that the . sudden strain on the trapeze might cause a breakage of whijiih an ordinary test could not forewarn him,. In conversation ai the time Kif his appearance,, when this risk was pointed out to him, the Canadian Blondih said' he always tested everything most ■carefully, and would not trust that all-important work to any niaJtx alive. Prior to visiting Britain—his New Brighton engagement being *be f>rst thereHardy had done many wonderful acts' in Canadi. where be yi&s born, and in the
j United States. He had crossed Niagara,
and had also gone, without the aid of a balancing-pole, across one of the biggest gorges in the States, at an elevation of over 300 feet.