Tommy Burns, not content with diving from bridges, upped his game on 10th November 1892 when he dived from a moving horse-drawn tram into a Liverpool dock.
That day’s Liverpool Echo reported how small groups of men had gathered during the morning near the swing bridge connecting George’s and Canning docks while Tommy and his friends met in a nearby pub.
… ultimately most of them came to the conclusion that the “hero of Runcorn Bridge” and of the New Brighton shark encounter was to dive into the dock in spite of all opposition,&c, and eyes were kept fixed on the doors of “Crowther’s No.1” for his appearance.
While people were waiting, however, Tommy, who is reported to be in these matters as cunning as a fox, managed to find his way out unnoticed, and proceeding with one of his friends by a circuitous route found his way to the top of Lord-street where the two mounted the Walton tramcar, No.66, and sat down like ordinary passengers.
Upon reaching the swing bridge Tommy suddenly stood up, stepped upon the rail of the tram, balanced himself, and, taking a beautiful “header” struck the water at least twenty feet beneath him, disappeared for a second or two, much to the consternation of the few who were not in the “know” – and these were very few by this time, twenty minutes to eleven o’clock – and upon reappearing at the surface quickly commenced to “tread water” and divest himself of his jacket, &c, when the cry of “Tommy Burns” was raised, received with cheers and peals of laughter, directed chiefly at the representatives of law and order who were present in uniform, to the number of three, and who observed all that passed without interfering.
When Tommy had taken off his outer clothing, he was seen to be wearing pink tights. He then gave a swimming display and began to
… disport himself like a dolphin much to the amusement of some hundreds of people, who in the course of a very few minutes had crowded the quays and bridges to witness his pranks.
After about 10 minutes, he climbed out of the water, got into a hansom cab and was driven back to Crowther’s which was just 30 yards away.
The Echo reported that the police contented themselves by taking Tommy’s name and address and the crowds dispersed.