Subject(s): Joe Darby
Location: Halesowen Road, Netherton, West Midlands
Sculptor: Steve Field (designer), and D. R. Harvey (metal-work)
Status: In Situ
Plaque 1: JOSEPH DARBY. CHAMPION JUMPER OF THE WORLD.
Plaque 2: THE INCREDIBLE FEATS OF JOSEPH DARBY. CHAMPION JUMPER OF THE WORLD. Joe Darby was born near here in August 1861, originally a maker of nails and horseshoes, then a blacksmith. His physical prowess led him to become the greatest Victorian 'Spring Jumper' (a long jump without a run up, often using weights). After retirement, he kept The Albion Pub, Stone St. Dudley. He died in 1937. SOME OF JOE DARBY'S FEATS. One forward spring jump 14' 9", September 19th, 1890. One backward spring jump 12' 11", September 14th, 1891. Five forward spring jumps 76' 3" Dudley Castle Grounds, May 29th, 1890. Seventeen forward spring jumps 81yds 1' 6" on Netherton Cricket Ground, September 18th 1888. In Boston USA, he twice bettered G.W. Hamilton, then Champion Jumper of the World. HIS 'TRICK JUMPS' INCLUDED.... Clearing a canal in two jumps appearing to make the second leap from the water's surface. Appearing to jump on a person's face, while they lay on the ground, and off again. Jumping on and off eggs without breaking them. Clearing half a dozen chairs with a jump from a glass of water without spilling any. Jumping over 20 chairs 11 feet apart in 20 successive jumps and, on the 21st jump, clearing a horse 16 hands high. Clearing a full size billiard table lengthwise. A 'Royal Command Performance' for The Prince of Wales, Covent Garden London, November 18th, 1898.
[Other pictorial plaques: image of Joe Darby standing, image of him jumping a canal, image of him jumping over a horse, image of him receiving a scroll (presumably from The Prince of Wales), image of him jumping a billiard table].