When Woolloongabba was Wattle Scented

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

EKKA's Sideshows - The Dare-Devil Durkin Bros.Globe of Death

The Durkin Bros.Globe of Death travelled the Australian show circuit for over 20 years and featured regularly at the Brisbane Exhibition over the years and often made appearances at Brisbane's very own Luna Park, which which was an outdoor entertainment venue adjacent to the dance hall Cloudland, atop Bowen Hill.

 The act was originally devised in 1936 as per the account in the clipping from the Sydney Morning Herald. below.

There was a Cinesound Movie Review produced in 1936 that featured the brothers and the caption on a photo above mentions them performing for Australian in U.S. Troops in Melbourne in 1943.Only two reported accidents; one that left the brothers badly concussed when they collided during a performance at he Brisbane Exhibition in 1945 and another incident at the Royal Adelaide Show in 1951.

The Globe of Death was still making appearances on the Speedway circuit during the 1950's, the clipping below is of Herb and his wife, mentioning a new side car. Whilst Herb's wife is photographed with the brothers on many occasions, there is never any mention of her being part of the act.


  1. Hello,
    I came across your site, by accident, today. Noreen DURKIN was Herbert's wife, and a part of the act. She was the first to drive the mini-car in the Globe. Noreen was my relative, and the mother of David DURKIN.
    June DURKIN, daughter of Frank, another of the Daredevil Durkins, was the second mini-car driver.
    Noreen's maiden name was CARROLL, and she was the sister of Mr. Garnet Hannell CARROLL. OBE, who owned the Princess Theatre, in Melbourne...a theatrical family.

    1. Noreen was my great great aunt. I have very fond memories of her as i was growing up

  2. Came across your blog after watching this video and wondered what some of the side shows where.
    7:24 mins in you come across this sideshow.

  3. I remember seeing the globe of death through the back fence of my geat grandfathers house at 45 Lurline St Mile End SA. That would put it in the yard of number 40 Cowra St Mile End. Is that where Herb Durkin lived?