This film is part of Free

The First National Dyke Jumping Championships

What is the secret to a successful dyke-jump? Apparently it’s all in the push-off! This daft Fenland sport, looks like a whole lot of fun.

News 1980 4 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


In 1980, in addition to the pleasant walks, picnics, and bird watching, Ferry Meadows Country Park becomes home to the first National Dyke Jumping Championships. The Fenland sport, which Guy Michelmore describes as 'just plain daft', attracts a swathe of competitors, who attempt to pole-vault across a five metre narrow waterway. All get a soaking, plunging into the cold and muddy water, but that’s all part of the fun - with whoops, cheers, and a few groans from the crowds.

True to news broadcasting tradition, a have-a-go reporter (Anglia TV's Guy Michelmore) gets stuck in and takes a turn over the water. Dave “Boy” Green, former British boxing champion, known as the “Fen Tiger” is guest of honour and opens the championships. There are also interviews with the winner Chris Douse, and Martin Armstrong, organiser.