Guinness World Records 60th anniversary: MM’s top five Manchester achievements

When you think of what Manchester has given the world, you might gush about its industrial and cultural heritage, not to mention a healthy dose of sporting excellence.

But what you might not know is that Greater Manchester is also home to a number of Guinness World Record holders, including 10-year-old Freddie Hughes, who bagged himself a record at the National Football Museum for most rebound half volleys in 30 seconds earlier this week.

On the day that Guinness World Records celebrates 60 years since the publication of its first annual book of records, MM gives you our five favourite brilliant and bizarre world records set in Greater Manchester.

By Ecc!

The first of the giant food-related items on our list is the largest Eccles cake, weighing in at a mighty 56.2 kg (124 lbs).

Made by local bakers Martins Foods at their Newton Heath bakery, the four foot wide cake was a huge feature at the Salford Food and Drink Festival in October 2008, requiring a six foot wide oven, a scaffolding bar as a rolling pin and a custom-made baking tray.

The creation, which took the Guinness World Record previously held by the Eccles Rotary Club, involved 10.5kg of butter, 20kg of puff pastry and 25kg of currant filling with eight workers, including four bakers working together over three hours.

As part of the requirement to take the record, it had to be consumed with the bakers donating it to Age Care in Salford to distribute for lunches.

Strictly fun dancing

As part of fundraising efforts, the world record for “longest distance danced in a conga line” seems to have found a home in Manchester.

Held since 2012, 14 participants dressed as Santa in aid of the Manchester United Foundation achieved an impressive distance of 3.41 miles (5.487 km) at Old Trafford.

Despite several attempts to surpass the distance, Guinness World Records still recognise the Tesco staff as holding the record.

But next month, fundraising hopefuls for Change the Lives (CTL) and Virgin Trains will attempt to dance in a conga line from Manchester Piccadilly station to Stockport station – a distance of 6.1 miles (9.8 km) down the A6 via Levenshulme Market.


Back on the food front, the record for the “largest pancake” made and successfully flipped has stood for an incredible 21 years after the Co-Operative Union created a monster measuring 15.01m (49ft 3in) in diameter and 2.5cm (1 in) thick, weighing 3 tonnes (6,614 lbs) in 1994.

Due to the size of the pancake, believed to contain around two million calories, it required cranes to flip it to satisfy the criteria by Guinness World Records, but it served its purpose by bringing people to the town to see it happen.


Thousands of Doctor Who fans around the world claim to be the show’s biggest fan, but 46-year-old Manchester resident Ian O’Brien is recognised as having the largest collection of Doctor Who-related items, and he is one of the entries in the 2015 Guinness World Records edition.

Of course, it helps if you’re someone who was around for the show’s original run from 1963 to 1989 rather than just the 2005 revival and O’Brien became captivated with all things Whovian after watching Planet of the Daleks – the fourth episode from season 10 in 1973 with Jon Pertwee as the Doctor – when he was five.

He began collecting soon after with a yellow toy Dalek bought by his parents for Christmas and has since spent more than £10,000 amassing Doctor Who items with Guinness World Records handing him the title with 1,573, although he believes he may have added “another hundred or so” since he was handed the title.


Fuel prices may have been falling in recent months, but there’s nothing more frustrating than wasting fuel while stuck on Manchester’s congested roads in the morning while gasping for a caffeine boost.

No such problem for engineer and conservationist Martin Bacon, who took to Woodford Aerodrome near Stockport in the third of his coffee cars back in February 2013.

Nicknamed “Bean Machine”, and sponsored by The Co-Operative, the car is a 1989 Ford P100 pick-up fitted with a gasifier and fuelled by chaff pellets produced derived from a mixture of Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade roasted coffee beans.

The result from the eco-friendly vehicle was a new speed record of 65.5 mph before Bacon and his coffee car embarked on a 1,600-mile promotional tour visiting various Co-operative Food stores around the UK – the longest ever attempted in a coffee-powered vehicle of any kind.

Image courtesy of Guinness World Records via YouTube, with thanks.

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