Tommy Burns made headlines in York in 1892 when he dived from three bridges in the city. The Yorkshire Gazette (27th August) reported:
During the week, Tommy Burns, who has achieved success and created sensation by his feats in diving, swimming, and pedestrianship, has attracted attention in York by diving from the public bridges into the Ouse, and then exhibiting his powers of endurance and his skill in natation [swimming]. Yesterday Burns dived from Lendal, Ouse and Skeldergate Bridges, and in the evening appeared at the Corn Exchange.
The Sheffield Independent (Thursday 25th August) described another dive made from Lendal Bridge the previous day:
The time of the leap and other facts had been kept as quiet as possible, but about ten o’clock between 300 and 400 persons had assembled in the vicinity for the purpose of witnessing the daring feat. Shortly after twelve o’clock, Burns, who was wrapped in a long macintosh, drove up in an open cab. He was accompanied by two ladies and his trainer, Mr. Dalton, of Southport.
He at once mounted the parapet of the bridge, and, amid breathless silence, he leaped well forward, and diving head first entered the water very neatly. He quickly rose to the surface, where he was greeted with the cheers of the spectators. He then turned on to his side, and with a powerful stroke swam to Ouse Bridge, a distance of about a quarter of a mile, and then returned swimming up the river to Lendal Bridge.
We understand the dive was not for any wager, but simply at the request and for the entertainment of a number of his racing friends, who are at present in the city
The Huddersfield Chronicle (25th August) also carried a report on the same event:
On Wednesday morning (writes a York correspondent) Tommy Burns, the champion high diver, swimmer and runner of the world, paid a flying visit from the Southport Exhibition and dived from Lendal Bridge, which spans the Ouse in the centre of the city.
About 10 o’clock, when Tommy rode down disguised, with his swimming costume underneath, three or four hundred people had assembled close to the bridge.
Quickly divesting himself of his assumed attire, he mounted the parapet and leaped into the water beneath amid breathless silence. It was a splendid dive. The redoubtable Tommy only disappeared for a second or two, and on coming to the surface was received with tumultuous cheers by the crowd. He afterwards gave an exhibition of ornamental swimming.