Haverhill teenager Jaimi lives life on the edge of the Wall of Death
While most teenagers have been collecting exam results recently, on Haverhill girl has been riding along a wall as part of a motorcycle stunt team.
Jaimi Tyrell, also known as Jaimi Starr, 19, left her Primrose Hill home three years ago to join family friends Ken and Julie Fox in the Ken Fox Triupe that ride along the ‘Wall of Death’ at numerous venues across the country.
Now Jaimi is looking forward to performing near home as the group is set to perform at the White Hart in Boxford on Saturday (September 21) to celebrate 80 years of Wall of Death being in the UK.
“I started doing it when I was 15, and when you’re given an opportunity like that you don’t turn it down,” said Jaimi.
“I’ve performed in Germany, France and Holland, and this year was at (Isle of Wight festival) Besitval, which was really successful.
“The crowds love it and they really do get their value for money as they all come up afterwards and tell us how it was worth it.
“It doesn’t really feel that different coming back to near home, though hopefully some family and friends from here will come out to see us.”
Riding on the Wall of Death typically involves using an iconic Indian Scout motorcycle and constantly keeping the speed between 40 and 45 miles per hours, as any faster or slower could result in a fall.
Helmets are not worn, but despite the risks Jaimi has only had one accident early in her career, which did little to dissuade her from following the unusual vocation.
Tricks performed by members of the troupe on the wall involve standing up on the bikes, putting their legs over the handlebars and riding hands-free, though Jaimi does not do tricks herself – yet.
The troupe consists of Jaimi, Ken and Julie, their sons Luke and Alex, and Kerri Cameron.
“People are pretty surprised when they see us girls doing it as they think girls shouldn’t be doing it, but we think why not?” said Jaimi.
“They think we are there to be the pretty ladies so don’t expect us to go riding, but it’s the opposite so it’s nice to see their reaction when we’re up there and how excited they get.”
The lifestyle that sees the troupe travel across the country, often performing 11 shows a day over a weekend – at Bestival, they did 35 shows a day from Tuesaday to Sunday.
“This life isn’t for everyone but it’s the life I’ve been brought up with.
“I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
Jaimi’s mum Corrinne Birch, 46, is left swelling with pride for her daughter, despite her and partner Matin Tyrell only spending three months a year with her when she returns for winter.
“We’re both chilled and laid back and so are very, very proud of what’s she does and has achieved,” said Corrinne.
“It’s nice to know she has achieved so much in the last few years and is enjoying herself.
“It may be dangerous but there’s so much emphasis placed on safety, with everything checked, double checked and triple checked.”
For more information about the troupe or to book tickets, visit www.wall-of-death.co.uk
For all the latest news see today’s (Thursday, September 20) Echo.
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