North West Wales

Steve McQueen's bike stunt to be copied by photographer Ed Gold

Ed Gold with his motor bike outside his yurt home
Image caption The stunt, if it comes off, will be a tribute to actor Steve McQueen

A photographer is hoping to recreate The Great Escape's iconic motor bike scene where Steve McQueen's character tried to jump a fence to escape Nazis.

McQueen fan Ed Gold, who lives in a yurt in Llanberis, Gwynedd, will attempt the stunt en route to Ukraine, where he will work on a new book.

Like in the film he will use a Triumph motorbike for the jump at Fussen on the German-Austrian border.

He hopes to rebuild a replica stretch of fence when he gets there.

He said he also wants to promote British manufacturing by using a Triumph.

Mr Gold hopes to leave for Ukraine in April to research a photography-based book on 19th Century industrialist John Hughes, who founded an ironworks and mining town in imperial Russia.

He is trying to attract funding and a publisher for the book about Mr Hughes, who was from Merthyr Tydfil.

He will break up the journey with a visit to Fussen to try to recreate the famous jump, which in the 1963 film was undertaken by stuntman Bud Ekins.

McQueen's character Hilts, having escaped from a Nazi camp, jumps one border fence before becoming tangled in barbed wire in another.

Mr Gold said: "I'll be using my own Triumph Scrambler 900, which is the closest thing [to a TT Special 650 Triumph used in the film]"

"It's going to break up the journey. It's also a tribute to Steve McQueen.

"I'm a big Steve McQueen fan. I can still remember watching The Great Escape every Christmas."

He is hoping to find a "friendly farmer" who will allow him to build a replica fence.

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