Prison break at Peterhead jail

Scottish escape artist Andy Robertson
Scottish escape artist Andy Robertson

The Peterhead Prison Museum is excited to announce that a real jail escape attempt will take place on Halloween.

Scottish escape artist Andy Robertson is planning to attempt the impossible by escaping from a locked high security cell at Peterhead Prison Museum on Tuesday, October 31.

Rebecca, the daughter of the world famous escape artist the late David De-Val, with the challenge letter

Rebecca, the daughter of the world famous escape artist the late David De-Val, with the challenge letter

Andy is the only Scottish member of the UKEA (United Kingdom Escape Artists) and the museum is proud to be hosting this amazing event.

To the museum's knowledge, this has never been attempted before under such strict conditions in Scotland.

Andy has been challenged by Rebecca, the daughter of the world famous escape artist the late David De-Val, to undertake the attempt under a very process - some would say the challenge is indeed not only very difficult, but impossible.

The cell is to be checked, Andy will be searched and fully examined by a professional medic to ensure nothing to aid his attempt is concealed on his person, a Locksmith will then verify and check restraints, and put Andy in modern type ankle restraints and handcuffs.

The prison cell is very secure, it has a high security window and custodial lock that will also be checked and verified. Andy will then be locked in and has a maximum of 30 minutes to escape the restraints and the prison cell.

Andy said: “The challenge to do the escape attempt under very strict and challenging circumstances has added more complexity to what is going to be for me the ultimate test of my ability as an escape artist and escapologist.

"I have accepted the challenge under one condition, that Rebecca and the public attend the escape attempt to verify it is carried out as stated.

"The former Peterhead Prison although now a museum remains to have a very realistic prison environment nothing has changed for the exception there is no prisoners!"

Andy added: "This for me makes it the perfect place to undertake the escape. Also the date of the attempt is important as it will be the anniversary of the famous escape artist and jail breaker, Harry Houdini, who died on October 31, 1926.

"Come and see if the once notorious Peterhead Prison can hold me prisoner.”

Those attending on the night can meet Andy and inspect the cell and restraints to be used as well as being part of this sensational night.

Photos and filming is only permitted prior to and after the attempt as filming the actual escape is not permitted.

Tickets will go live online only tomorrow (Wednesday, October 6) at 10am and will be £5 per head for the escape event only.

The museum's Halloween Tours are following on from last year’s huge success, but this time three times bigger in scale and in frights, so some amazing “Fright Nights” are in store.

The former Victorian Jail has a completely different look and feel in the dark and the night time tours will take you into areas not normally accessed during the day.

Because of this unfortunately there is no wheelchair access due to the range of stairs and uneven surfaces that needs to be accessed.

On Saturday, November 4 the venue will see a large scale Toy Fair, with main toy makers being on hand with a range of discounts and just ahead of Christmas this could be a timely event for all the family.

In addition to the fair, the museum will host the largest Lego Exhibition ever seen in the north east of Scotland, along with die-cast modellers who will be displaying some fantastic exhibits for visitors to enjoy and learn from.

Much more will be on display and the tasty treats will be provided by local sweet shop Bon Bon, a hog roast van linked to candy floss and candy apple options and of course the obligatory burgers will be provided by the on- site café team.

Open on the day between 10am and 4pm the museum itself will be closed to support the exhibitors and displays.

Payment to enter the Toy Fair is a standard £3 per head with under 5 years of age free and tickets can be purchased at the entrance to the museum itself on the day.

The event will conclude at 5pm with a Fireworks display.

Alex Geddes Facilities Coordinator said: “We are delighted to host this attempted break out and linked to such famous former escape artists such as Harry Houdini and David De-Val this will certainly add pressure to Andy’s attempt and we wish him every success on the day.

"This attempt also coincides with our Halloween Tours set for October 25, 26, 27, 29, 30 and 31 following on from last year’s successful events and tickets for these Fright Nights will also be going on sale online only via Event Brite at 10am on October 6.

"Three times the size of our initial Halloween Tours in 2016 and three times as frightening, things look set for a busy period for us, ahead of our first Toy Fair, combined with a large Lego event and Die-cast model exhibition on November 4 and of course including much more on the day.”

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “Peterhead Prison Museum has quickly become one of the region’s most interesting and unique visitor experiences.

"I’d like to congratulate the hardworking staff who are constantly looking at innovative and exciting new ways to attract visitors.

"This new escape challenge looks to be one of their most thrilling yet!

"The Museum embodies all we are trying to achieve throughout the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, raising awareness of Scotland’s past and celebrating its fascinating history.

"Attractions, like the Peterhead Prison Museum, are also a vital part of the area’s tourism offering, drawing visitors from far and wide. These visitors, whether here for the day or longer, help contribute to the local economy, which in turn creates jobs and sustains communities.”