Monday 18 November 2019

A record-breaking day!

New festival marks Castlebridge connection to book of World Records

Catriona and Ethan O’Grady trying to assemble Mr Potatoe Head in the fastest time blindfolded.
Catriona and Ethan O’Grady trying to assemble Mr Potatoe Head in the fastest time blindfolded.

Padraig Byrne

Nearly seventy years on, a debate which spawned the world's best selling copyrighted book was replayed as the inaugural Castlebridge Record Makers Festival brought families out into the glorious sunshine for a great day of fun.

The award winning Bridge Drama Group brought history to life as they portrayed a debate involving Guinness Breweries Director Sir Hugh Beaver at the North Slob. The topic? The fastest game bird in Europe. Upon finding there was no reference book for such things, it led to the creation of the Guinness Book of World Records in 1954, which has gone on to sell over 100 million copies worldwide.

The play was just one part of an afternoon jam packed with activities in celebration of the village's little known link to the infamous book.

The day saw a whole host of crazy village records set such as catching the most lemons while blindfolded, most keepie-uppies completed, tallest structure built from wooden blocks and fastest time to assemble a Mr Potato Head blindfolded.

As well as this, there was an exhibition celebrating some of the village's history, a Castlebridge detectives heritage trail and a fancy dress parade which saw local kids dress up, many of them inspired by record breakers from the book of world records. One of the highlights, however, was the race between the Golden Plover and Red Grouse (or at least two people in those costumes) for the title of fastest game bird.

'It was a brilliant day,' said festival committee member Cllr John Hegarty. 'It shows what can be done on a small budget, but with a big community buy-in. There was a real sense of the strong community that exists in Castlebridge and all the local groups were represented. The crowds were really great for the first year and there's really something to build on now. Hopefully this can serve as a launch pad for a new wave of enthusiasm around Castlebridge House and Conservatory.'

Cllr Hegarty also paid tribute in particular to festival chairman Paul O'Brien, who put in Trojan work to ensure the event's success.

Wexford People

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