Two men in fancy dress clambered up Ulverston's clock tower this week in a crowd-stopping protest for greater fathers' rights.

While the rest of the townsfolk were in Victorian dress for the annual Dickensian Festival, the men donned a Batman and King Kong outfit to stage Cumbria's first Fathers 4 Justice demo.

The men, who are both from Ulverston, spent two hours above Market Street after using a ladder to climb onto the back of the TSB bank to scale scaffolding around the clock tower.

The protesters then shouted slogans and unfurled a banner reading Access Denied' with their website address (

"Everyone stopped and looked up and we got a lot of clapping when we came down," said Batman, who cannot be named to avoid identifying his son who is the subject of legal proceedings in the family courts.

"We didn't want to spoil the festival it was a coincidence really, the scaffolding was up so it was safer and there were a large amount of people around to support it."

The men, who are both battling for access to their sons, said they felt driven to make their point with a demo aping other Fathers 4 Justice protests which have seen vigilante Dads in superhero outfits climb the London Eye, powder bomb PM Tony Blair and even occupy a ledge outside Buckingham Palace.

"The whole legal system is very slow and it's weighted on the mothers' side," argued Ulverston's Batman. "This is about more than my son. It's for all the other fathers out there who can't get to see their children for no good reason.

"All I want as a father is for my child to be a part of my life he needs to know I'm his Dad and I love him."

The protesters, who plan to carry out more direct action in Furness, said they were prepared to be arrested on Sunday but in the event the officers who gathered below the scaffolding took no action. Cumbria Police spokesman Mike Head said it was a lawful peaceful protest.

A bystander at the Dickensian Festival, who asked not to be named, said: "There were about half-a-dozen police waiting for them. I said to one of them, they'll soon come down, it's cold up there. He said that's what they thought!"