Remember when drinkers were going up the wall over a new craze - bar fly jumping?

Barfly jumpers David Bowes, left, and Fraser Dean at the Grand Hotel.
Barfly jumpers David Bowes, left, and Fraser Dean at the Grand Hotel.

A Hartlepool businessman was behind a new pub craze which was hitting the headlines 26 years ago.

Bar Fly Jumping – all the rage in New Zealand – was heading for clubs all around Europe, thanks to Fintan O’Rourke.

The businessman, who ran Teesside Communications and Leisure in Church Street, had already been inundated with inquiries about the bizarre game, only a fortnight after taking delivery of the first batch of equipment.

Competitors donned a Velcro suit before hurling themselves towards a similarly-covered wall with the aid of a trampette.

The object of the game was to reach a greater height on the wall than your opponents – national league champions Down Under had been known to leap up to 15ft.

“It’s proving extremely popular – we’ve already taken orders from all over Europe,” said Fintan, who demonstrated the game to potential customers at Hartlepool’s Grand Hotel.

“We are just opening up the distribution network, and we’ve already taken orders from Tenerife, Spain and Germany.

However, equipment for the game – three jumping suits, a bar fly wall, a trampette and safety mats – was not cheap, retailing at about £3,800.

* Did you have a go at bar fly jumping back in the day? We’d love to hear your memories.