Escape artist trio stage Houdini style prison van break out stunt in Doncaster

A trio of the UK’s leading escape artists were locked in handcuffs inside a secure prison van – and then told to get out in a Harry Houdini style stunt in Doncaster.

By Darren Burke
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 1:32 pm

The threesome gathered at the Maple Tree in Woodfield Plantation for the stunt organised by the Doncaster Restraint Museum, a local visitor attraction devoted to the history of handcuffs and restraints with hundreds of pairs in its collection.

Allan Taylor, Andrew Robertson and Tim Houlton, all members of the United Kingdom Escaper Artists organisation, were invited to Doncaster to take part in a world first.

The three were challenged to escape from a locked prison van whilst wearing UK regulation handcuffs, all under test conditions and controlled by a serving police office and master locksmith.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The trio were locked in a prison van in Doncaster.

They were all locked in brand new, unopened, and sealed regulation handcuffs, escorted into the van and locked into individual cells before lastly locked into the van itself.

Members of the public looked on as the trio were given 20 minutes to break free.

A spokesman for DRM described the challenge as “impossible” and which had never been performed anywhere in the world in full view of the public.

Andrew, Scotland’s award-winning escape artist and prison escape expert, who has appeared on TV and once even escaped from an electric chair was joined by Tim who had previously escaped from a prison van on his own for one of his past performances.

A trio of escape artists attempted a break out in Doncaster.

Making up the trio was Allan Taylor, an award-winning escape artist, Harry Houdini historian and chairman of the UKEA.

Allan has previously escaped from a double straitjacket and has also won every UK top award for escapology.

A spokesman said: “They were escorted over to the van and made to stand with their hands above their heads in full public view.

"The police opened and checked the handcuffs and each prisoner was cuffed and scanned to make sure they were not concealing any tools.

The threesome eventually broke out of the van.

"Tim was found to have a mobile phone on him and that was quickly confiscated.

"They were then escorted into the van and locked into the cells.”

A member of the public was chosen to check the doors were secure and locked and the outside doors were also checked to make sure they were locked before the clock began counting down.

A spokesman for the UKEA added: “The van was rocking, loud noises were coming from the outside along with a few screams of pain and requests for help – could they escape?

"A large explosion came from top of the van and a few seconds later Andy came running from the back door towards the front door.

"Allan bust out of the front door, and this was closely followed by Tim who came out of the top of the vehicle – all in 8 minutes and 44 seconds.

"A world first, a world record.

"The Doncaster Restraint Museum team failed but the boys from the UKEA proved that this challenge wasn’t a match for their skills!”