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Guinness World Record for Brandon in Bloom's longest line of pompoms





An idea celebrating the Platinum Jubilee has seen a Brandon group go into the Guinness World Record books for the longest line of pompoms.

Brandon in Bloom has beaten a record set in 2016 by Eden Valley Hospice of 29,312, by putting 45,736 together in a continuous line, measuring 1.35 miles.

Rachel Sobiechowski, the group's head of horticulture, said volunteer Claire Watts came up with the idea for the celebration and the whole community really got behind it.

Some of the people needed to count the 45,786 pompoms for the record. Picture: Brandon in Bloom
Some of the people needed to count the 45,786 pompoms for the record. Picture: Brandon in Bloom

She said: "Claire said in January that a world record existed for the longest line of pompoms and should we try and beat it.

"I never turn down a challenge, no matter how unachievable it may seem, so we first posted on the Brandon Suffolk Yarn bombing group Facebook page, a group that I set up in 2017, to see if they would like to help.

"The response from them and the community was amazing, everyone I asked was keen to be involved."

The final pompom with the record-breaking figure. Picture: Brandon in Bloom (60790287)
The final pompom with the record-breaking figure. Picture: Brandon in Bloom (60790287)

The pair asked people to make batches of 50 and to chain them all together for ease of laying out on counting day.

By the end of February, they had received 10,000 pompoms from members of the community and they just kept coming.

Rachel said: "Each week I was handed more than 2,000 pompoms and by the end of April we had already matched the current record."

Once the pompoms had been laid out in June, it took groups of three to count the 2,178.6m line on video and a stringent process to send all of the information to the people at Guinness World Record.

Rachel said: "We knew others were also trying to beat the record so we were up against it to get it in.

"Every single pompom had to be touching the one behind and in front with no gaps between, but also every pompom had to be clearly visible on film.

"It was quite a task behind the scenes to get them all together and keep them in place with so many members of the public on the playing fields to witness the event."

Some of the line laid out by Brandon in Bloom. Picture: Brandon in Bloom (60790289)
Some of the line laid out by Brandon in Bloom. Picture: Brandon in Bloom (60790289)

In total, the group submitted nine-and-a-half hours of video for the count, one hour of video of the measuring wheel in use, eight independent witness statements, numerous photographs, newspaper reports, radio coverage and drone footage.

Rachel said: "It took me over a month, spending every evening online to upload all of the evidence. I was absolutely determined that nothing would be missed so that I would not let down all of the people that had worked so hard making the pompoms or taking part on the day.

"When I finally clicked submit on the Guinness site it was quite a relief. I then received an email back saying they had many record attempts to process and that the waiting time was up to 16 weeks."

But after after all the information had been sent and processed, the group officially became world record holders.

"My partner Paul read the email to me and I just burst into tears. The relief was overwhelming," Rachel said.

"I think it will be quite a while before it really sinks in just what the community of Brandon has achieved. Thank you just doesn't seem enough.

"Everyone who took part should be very proud of themselves, being a Guinness World Record holder is no small achievement and every single pompom that was made counted towards the record.

"It really was a huge community effort and everyone who helped in any way it could not have been achieved without you. What an officially amazing place we live in."

Once the certificate arrives in the town it is hoped there will be a spot in Brandon Heritage centre for it to be displayed alongside the final counting stick and the giant pompom that was at the end of the line.