Today, Bloomsbury in partnership with Bolton Library and Museum Services and eleven local Bolton primary schools broke the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Harry Potter.
Carrying wands, 676 children gathered on the lawn at Smithills Hall, a Grade 1 listed building set in formal gardens next to the West Pennine Moors. Individually dressed in Gryffindor ties, round spectacles and with a lightning bolt scar they all 676 children were dressed according to the guidelines set by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS. Organised to launch the 20th anniversary celebrations the attempt beat the previous record of 521 people.
Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday said: “Congratulations to the 676 Potterheads for this magical achievement. Harry Potter continues to cast his spell on readers of all ages, and (sorting) hats off to JK Rowing for inspiring a new generation to pick up books and enjoy reading.”
Cllr John Byrne, Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, said: “What an absolutely amazing achievement. We’re thrilled that Bolton has played such an important role in breaking this world record. We love a challenge in Bolton so when it came to this opportunity, we knew that our children would rise to it. We have a wizard librarian who cast her spell to make this happen - Anne Burns has played an integral part in organising this and a massive thanks must go to her, along with all the children and teachers. The Harry Potter collection is one of the most popular book series at our libraries and the children just love it. It is an honour to be a part of this.”
Ian Lamb, Head of Children’s Marketing and Publicity at Bloomsbury attended the record and said: “What a fantastic way to celebrate such an iconic book. To bring the record directly back to the next new wave of young readers is the perfect way to mark this very special occasion.”
Each child was given a Gryffindor edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to take away with them. The children who took part in the record came from the following schools: All Saints CE Primary School; Blackrod Church School; Claypool Primary School; Ladybridge Primary School; Ladywood School and Outreach Service; Pikes Lane Primary School; SS Peter and St Paul; St George's CE Primary School; St Gregory's RC Primary School; St John the Evangelist RC Primary School, and St Peters Smithills Dean CE Primary School.
Monday 26th June 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the first publication of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. From an idea born on a train journey to its creation in cafes in Edinburgh, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the book that started a global phenomenon. Starting with an initial hardback print run of just 500 copies the series has now gone on to sell over 450 million copies worldwide in 79 different languages, inspire a major movie franchise, a spellbinding theatre production and so much more. It is the book that put Harry Potter’s destiny in motion and created a whole new generation of readers.