Queen and Country
Dangerous Sports Club Tea Party
Vintage Gelatin Silver Print
40.64 x 30.48 cms (15.97 x 11.98 ins)
Signed on the reverse
Crispin Balfour rolling along at The Dangerous Sports Club tea party. Given at the Gloucestershire home of the Dutch Ambassador Robbert Fack. 22 August 1981
Dafydd Jones has written of his pictures of the Dangerous Sports Club:
"The man in the centre of The Dangerous Sports Club is David Kirke. I first met David at a party ( he may possibly have gatecrashed ) in Oxford. He called me shortly afterwards to meet at Beachy Head the next day at 5 a.m. where he planned to bungy jump off. I couldn't make that but did make it to the surreal tea party at the Dutch Ambassador's house. - A beautiful Georgian country house in rolling countryside in Gloucestershire. David Kirke buzzed overhead in a microlight. A young Nigella Lawson played croquet from a sedan chair supported by 4 members of the club. A TV crew from Game for a Laugh kept asking everyone to repeat things so their cameraman could catch it. I went to St. Moritz for the years that the annual surreal ski race took place. The Swiss tourist board began advertising the race on the lines of 'watch the eccentric English '. Xan Rufus Isaacs smartly dressed in a bus conductors uniform managed to get his double decker ( complete with passengers who had won the trip as a prize in a tv show ) half-way up the slope. The plan was to attach skis to the bus. After watching Steve Smithwick's cruise missile go down at high speed narrowly missing the road the Swiss authorities refused to allow the bus to go down on safety grounds. We all stayed at an old fashioned sanatorium converted to a hotel halfway up the mountain that David had wangled from the tourist board. That was where I photographed the attempts to dive into an ice bucket from the bar by Mike Fitzroy and Mark Chamberlain. The Dangerous Sports club invented bungee jumping and pioneered other dangerous and also innovative sports. I have an archive of pictures of club activities which include an early attempt at skiing on grass in the summer by attaching blocks of ice underneath skis..Despite their worldwide media attention and innovation they have never gained financially. In fact every idea and piece of work they created cost far more than ever came in. It was a seemingly impossible balancing act. There was an early attempt to capitalise on the club's fame by introducing a Dangerous Sports club wine. Much effort went into selecting a decent vintage and designing the label. But no-one knew how to market the wine. I think we were drinking it at a party David gave in Fulham. There was someone there who after drinking his glass of wine proceeded to eat his wine glass. I could hear the crunching sound."