Famed Peterborough strongman and daredevil Walter Cornelius has been honoured at a new place to eat in the city.
Walter’s Bar and Eatery - to form part of the Broadway Theatre complex when it reopens next month - will also have a celebratory ‘signature dish’ recognising the local legend whose feats earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
It will open seven days a week on the first floor of the theatre, with live music of the like of harpists and classical guitarists between noon and 3:00pm to help set a mood.
Walter, who died in 1983, was born in Latvia, and came to England as a teenager in the 1940s, escaping his home by rowing 400 miles across the Baltic, with a Russian bullet wound in his stomach.
To some he was the swimming pool attendant who taught them to love water. Others recognised him as being fearless, for instance walking on his hands for 153 miles, or pushing a double decker bus for half a mile with his head.
Dressed in all sorts of garb, from the classic image of a strongman, or in the attire of a Cossack, he raised a fortune for various good causes, appearing on the likes of Blue Peter and Opportunity Knocks.
Mark Ringer, Managing Director of The Broadway, said: “Our venue has three distinct areas for people to enjoy. Aside from the main auditorium and our Broadway Suite conference centre, we also have Walter’s Bar and Eatery.
“Walter used to be a concierge at The Broadway when it was an Odeon cinema. When I went to see films at the Odeon way back when, he was the one who made sure we behaved ourselves!
“He also worked as a life guard at the Lido, and attempted to defy gravity, trying to fly across the River Nene dressed as a bird. Walter was a serious character and I really like the idea of celebrating him. It links to the community, rather than some politician or a bloated money person. Our other deserving famous people have been celebrated, like Henry Royce, John Clare and Edith Cavell. I think Walter should be amongst them.”
Diners can look forward to the ‘Cornelius Banger’ – a signature snack sourced from local suppliers, supplemented by onions prepared via a secret recipe.
Alex Geairns, Station Director for Hereward Media who is assisting with marketing for The Broadway, commented: “Walter won the ‘World Sausage Eating Championship’ in 1966, devouring 23 bangers in ten minutes. In another mammoth feat, he ate 3lb 8oz of raw onions in two minutes and two seconds.
“While the ingredients in our dish won’t be raw, they’ll certainly be unusual, mouth-watering and delicious!”