Home > Snippets > Windy blows himself to the top

Whirligig Snippets

Windy blows himself to the top

The lung power that saved his life has won Dave Cecil a regular TV date

Windy BlowThere was a time when Windy Blow, the clown who blows up three hundred balloons every show - and has just started a series of regular spots on B.B.C. Television - could not blow out a match.
Ten years ago, as a soldier with one lung and only a year to live, he was thrown a packet of balloons as he lay in a hospital bed.
"Have a go!" the doctor said, "Might do some good. Stick at it!".
Dave Cecil stuck at it. It was a long time before he could blow up a single balloon. When at last he managed it he began to shape balloons to amuse other patients. He made swans, giraffes, dogs and silly hats.

He decided then that if he lived, he would make his living by blowing up balloons on the stage.

Windy Blow, the silent tramp-clown known and loved by children everywhere now, made his debut in 1952. His young audiences loved to take part in the act and win a balloon toy to take home.
He appeared on Children's TV in August, 1953, and was in the first TV Music Hall of 1954.

"I get through eighteen gross of balloons every week," says Dave, "and my wife, Blanche, and I have had to starta small balloon factory in the garage behind our flat in Finchley, North London.
"When I was in hospital, the man in the next bed gave me the formula for making balloons. I would have liked him to help in our factory, but he didn't recover."

Windy has spoken only once in public - at a party given by U.S. servicemen. He had given some balloon toys to a little Negro girl. As she returned to her seat some white children deliberately burst them.
Says Dave: "Windy saw red! He'd never spoken before, but he said something then. He called that little girl back and made every toy he knew - specially for her. As she went back to her place a second time, she handed nearly all of them to the white children!"

The Cecil's flat is always swarming with neighbours' children, the only children who know "the man inside Windy" - Dave Cecil, who once could hgardly blow up a ballon to save his life.

Out of costume - Dave Cecil blows balloons for neighbourhood children
who call at his flat to see the person they call "The man inside Windy Blow"

Article by Tom Taylor - from 'Illustrated' Magazine, November 5th, 1955

Return to Snippets Index

If you have any comments or further information of interest, please e-mail snippets@whirligig-tv.co.uk