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A Wheel Shame

Archibald in his heyday. He could cover the width of a stage in 1.9 seconds and frequently had the blisters to prove it. His career declined as the flanged wheel took hold.

Archibald Manx-Legge, Dorset's first and oldest county cartwheel champion has died at the age of 84. After a career treading the boards as a "freak" ["He bloody near wore them boards out what with having the extra leg", remembers fellow performer, knife-thrower and life-long friend Pierce d'Torso], he retired to Lyme Regis where he was a frequent if involuntary beach attraction after having had a special deckchair built to hold his unusual frame. Asleep he was sometimes mistaken for a "stuffed pouffe".

A lifelong omnivore [though he couldn't stand the sight of a Wagonwheel], he once declared that he had no fear of dying per se but dreaded the thought that he might become institutionalised, lose control over his own decision making and die with his last recorded words being "I have just had a probiotic yogurt for lunch".

"I'd rather die", he once said sardonically. Fortunately for him, he did. His Y-shaped coffin will be interred in the Parish Church of Our Lady of the Enlarged Prostate, Little Bredy on Wednesday.

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