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[personal profile] malmo58
Went down to Gosport for the weekend. The Library had organised an attempt on the world record for the most people simultaneously walking 5 metres balancing a book on their head. During the morning, among my books in my old room at my parents' home I found Denise Lewis' autobiography Personal Best which was regulation size. Found a sweet spot on my head and did several practice walks. All went well.

My mother, my aunts Cynthia and Jean, and Aussie and Carol from The Villagers were all there. Peter, an ex-mayor of Gosport I know from our civic year and former manager of Gosport Borough, was one of the organisers, the compère was a DJ from the local hospital radio wearing a Union Jack waistcoat, and Gosport man Glen Ford, the world's number one Norman Wisdom tribute act, was the warm-up entertainment. Also present was a lady named Vicky from the Guinness Book of Records.

There were 20 lanes marked out for the participants; they stretched some 25 metres from the park fence, and several of us were wondering if we were going to have to walk the length of the lane (which I succeeded in doing in practice while we were waiting for the off). Fortunately the lanes were just for us all to queue in behind the start line of the 5 metre course. I got a spot near the front.

As we were lined up waiting, it occurred to me that Denise Lewis, whose book I was using, was a world record breaker; I hoped that was a good omen. I completed the course, going slowly and surely. The good news was that, as far as I was able to make out, not a single book got dropped; the bad news was that, after several minutes, word came out that only 450 people had participated, not even half the world record of 998.

As the world record had been set in Australia, while Union Jack Man was officially announcing the bad news I went up to him and asked if we'd set a British record. Union Jack Man asked Vicky that question on the mike, but she said they only recorded world records. So we still don't know if we set a UK record. Union Jack Man, rather desperately, tried to put a spin on it by announcing it was a Gosport record. Peter and his fellow county councillor Chris said they'd try again and get schools involved.
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Malmö 58

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