Adam Eastall, who has worked for Bickers Action for many years saw David get into a few close calls over the years and here are a couple of incidents he remembers well.
‘I was down in one of the old workshops with him one day, where we used to prep vehicles when they came in. I was only eighteen at the time and he had a lot of old American car parts knocking around and he had this old eight track player he’d bought back from the States up above a lathe in the workshop, and he’d had to rig up a transformer for it to get it to the right voltage. So, I went in one day and there was a milling machine just inside the door and there was a problem with the switch gear on it. So, he’d pulled the plug out of the wall, but what he didn’t realise was that he’d taken the wrong plug out and the switch gear which he took apart was three-phase and 250 volts and he’d put it back together again with it live! He got a massive shock up his arm, but somehow managed to short it to earth, but it took a big lump out of the screwdriver he ‘d been holding. He was very lucky not to get fried. Afterwards he was very pale, and he said to me. “I feel a bit strange.” And I asked him, “Why?” And he simply replied, “I shouldn’t be here now.” He was like a cat with nine lives!’
On another occasion Adam witnessed an incident that at the time seemed quite funny but was actually quite nasty. ‘We had this old Suzuki SP400 motorbike, which we got as a write-off. We used it for years and at the time it’d had a front-end impact. So, David got a new wheel and sorted the forks out, but what he didn’t realise was that there was a crack in the brake anchor. I was down in what was ‘Maxwell’s Garage’ working on my speedway bikes and David said, “I’m gonna have a roar round on the SP.” He always put a crash helmet on, but this time I don’t know why, but he didn’t. He came down the hill onto this concrete slope and past me, really flying. Then he pulls the brake on, and the drum turned pulling the cable on, which shot him straight over the handlebars. He landed on his elbows and took the skin off of his legs, his forehead, his nose and then his chin – there was blood everywhere! He told me that when he heard his chin hit the ground, he thought he was dead!’
Miraculously, as he did throughout his motorcycling, stockcar racing and film stunt work, he escaped relatively unscathed, and he never did break a bone in his life. As you will read in Dave Bickers Unscrambled, this was not the first time he’d had this problem. Sylvia Bickers also recalled that at the time he was already running late for a pressing arrangement. ‘That evening we we’re booked in to go for an Indian meal and he came up to the house and was bleeding all over! So he washed and we patched him up and I remember when we left he still had bits of toilet paper attached to his face to stop the bleeding!’