Put out the bunting!
It's Devon's newest honour. We're world-beaters at knitted bunting.
The Devon County Show may have been cancelled this year, but its Guinness World Record attempt for a length of knitted bunting has knocked the socks off previous record holders. In fact, it has almost doubled the previous puny length held by Upton House of 31,119 flags, measuring 7.5km in length.
79,001 knitted flags were created by thousands of contributors from across the world. A continuous line of bunting was laid out, with each knitted pennant socially distanced at no more than two inches apart, across the 4,590 square metre floor space of Westpoint Arena in Exeter. The measuring was performed by chartered surveyor and official measurer from Strutt & Parker in Exeter Will Morrison, using a measuring wheel. The feat was witnessed by thee adjudicators, Lord Devon, Cllr Phil Twiss and TV presenter and crafter Kirstie Allsopp.
The county show's chief steward for crafts and gardens Deborah Custance Baker who came up with the idea and lodged the attempt with Guinness World Records. said: "We cannot believe people’ s dedication and commitment to the task. We thought we might just beat the existing record but doubling it is a truly astonishing feat. We do know that this is partly to do with lockdown. Many of our contributors have commented on how knitting has really helped them through this difficult period of self-isolation by giving them a sense of purpose. Several who had committed to making just a few, suddenly found they had both the time and inclination to double, even triple their original pledges.
"We originally wanted to do the stringing and measuring at Exeter Cathedral with as many contributors who wanted to help as possible. As it was, we weren’t able to do this. I’ve had to have all the bunting delivered to me at home, and I’ve literally been drowning in it, and done all the stringing myself. Westpoint seemed like a great alternative to measure the record. It’s an enormous, covered event venue which due to the pandemic is currently not in use and has enabled us to lay out the bunting, which has taken a full two days, whilst remaining compliant with social distancing regulations."
Kirstie Allsopp, although known for her crafting capabilities has never mastered the art of knitting. She said: ‘This staggering amount of bunting is just incredible and has really given me an incentive to give it one more try!’.
People will be invited to see the record-breaking bunting in its full glory on designated evenings throughout the summer. They will be offered the opportunity to purchase sections of the bunting to help raise funds for the Devon County Show’s charity of the year, farming charity The Addington Fund. The bunting will also be donated to local causes.
Now that the bunting has been measured, all the documentation will be submitted to Guinness World Records and verified before the record can be made official.