About The Balancing Walcheros - their past fame

Running away to join the circus sounds like something from a children's story, but that's exactly what Molly did. Keen to develop her love of cats, she specialised in lion taming. But the gasps and applause of the audience were reserved for the high-wire acts, something Molly soon latched on to.

With her petite figure and heightened sense of balance, she used every moment developing her skills on the high-wire. A hereditary defect of the feet, normally a burden and embarrassment to most women, meant that she was able to grip the wire tightly.

The sparkle of Lycra and roar of the crowd pushed her, literally, to new heights and Molly became known as the "Queen of the wire".

It was during a tour of Israel, performing below sea-level on the shores of the Dead Sea, a dangerous feat as the extreme pressure below sea-level makes high-wire walking very dangerous, that Molly meet Jock.

Less than eighteen months after qualifying as an SAS Trooper, Jock was invalided out of the army following an operational incident in Central America. Turning his hand to more peaceful skills, Jock concentrated on retraining to use his ability to work at heights to train as an aerial acrobat.

Within two years spent travelling Europe with the world's leading circuses, Jock was established as one of the foremost exponents of the high-wire and trapeze.

Molly and Jock had fallen in love with the circus and now they fell in love with each other. On holiday, Jock went to see Molly's Dead Sea performance. “I took one look at her, walking confidently and with ease along the wire, and was captivated. Her bright blue eyes (which I only found out later sparkled because of the gin) and her teeth (that have since been described as the brightest in Kent) topped off the showmanship and glamour that we all love of the circus.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, we present The Balancing Walcheros.” Marriage followed - partners in work, partners in life - and a double-act developed on both the trapeze and high-wire. Tours followed, not just in Europe but further afield in Asia and North America. In the backyard of the Moscow State and Chinese National circuses, audiences marvelled at the daring, glamour, and bravado that had become Les Walcheros, as the foreigners dubbed them. Royal Variety performances in Britain were shared with performances for other heads of state – the Shah of Iran, President Regan, the Pope and countless other world leaders.

But show business can be cruel. Within weeks of each other, both Molly and Jock suffered blows that were to bring their circus careers to an all-too early ending.

Molly was giving a private performance for Andrew Lloyd-Webber when she suffered a debilitating accident. During a performance reserved solely for private functions, she was moments into her act swinging from a trapeze hanging only by her nipple rings, when one of the ropes detached. Tortured by pain, she unclipped the other line and fell to the safety net below. Sadly, though, the strains of hanging from one nipple caused torn ligaments causing a frontal imbalance that not even surgery could correct. Her balance, whether on a high-wire or trapeze, was irreparably damaged.

(The resulting Health and Safety Executive enquiry, lead to the requirement that all artistes performing this particular act should be secured by a third line attached to a navel ring . Molly’s pain had not been in vain).

Jock also suffer a career-ending injury. Standing on the trapeze platform, he powdered his hands in readiness. With Molly in hospital, Jock had recruited the Russian schoolgirl Olympic gymnast and trapeze artist, Vod Carr, as his partner. As they timed the start of their swings, Jock grabbed his trapeze and prepared himself. Pushing off, the two came together with precision timing. However, mistaking her Russian instruction for “Now!”, Jock let go of his own swing, expecting to grab Vod's legs. What she’d actually said was “Next time.”

Jock crashed earthwards to be faced with the high-wire that a junior acrobat has mistakenly hoisted in place. Straddling the wire, Jock’s manhood cushioned the blow, hanging in the balance for a second before being bounced off the wire and into the path of Vod who was still hanging from her trapeze. Knocked aside, Jock fell to the net. In agony and waiting on the net for medical attention, he wondered whether the funds he’d deposited at the Banco Spermo Milano would be adequate to secure their future.  

The Balancing Walcheros were at an end.

The story continues...their present fortune

Back to top