Volunteers from several groups in Cranleigh joined forces on Saturday to set a new world record for the village.
The record, for the title of “Largest display of painted pebbles/stones”, was set with 3,646 painted pebbles displayed in Fountain Square during the annual Spring into Cranleigh shopping event.
Guinness World Records, who now need to verify the record attempt, established formal guidelines for the record, including that the artwork on each pebble was required to display a suitable degree of craftsmanship.
A similar record was used to establish a benchmark for this record attempt, giving the volunteers a minimum target of 1,150 painted pebbles. This goal was exceeded by more than three times as enthusiastic pebble painters from Cranleigh and further afield came together to contribute their creations for the display.
Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce president Rosemary French OBE, one of the event organisers, said:
We are over the moon at the success of this world record attempt, which places Cranleigh on the map. It was delightful to see young and old come together to create something extraordinary.
As a Chamber of Commerce, we continue to work hard to attract visitors to our High Street and inject greater vibrancy into the local community. Cranleigh has so much to offer those who live, work and visit here, as demonstrated by the fantastic work of Cranleigh in Bloom and their volunteers.
One local artist, 80-year-old Bea Cole, contributed more than 700 painted pebbles, decorated by her and her friends. This prolific pebble painter contributed stones to fill the centre-piece of the display, a large flower in celebration of Cranleigh in Bloom reaching the RHS Britain in Bloom finals this year.
Bea has been part of the Cranleigh Rocks group since its inception last year, with her painted pebbles giving much pleasure to local children who find them after they are hidden. As a non-Facebook user, Bea enlists her husband Brian to provide updates and her son Adam (known in the group as the Rock Ninja) to hide the pebbles around the village.
In preparation for the world record attempt, Bea has held group painted sessions, with her friends becoming part of the Cranleigh Rocks family.
Other local groups including primary schools, Scouts and Guides, Jigsaw School, Care Ashore, Air Cadets, and even a team of scientists from UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, came together to decorate pebbles and donate them to the display.
Pebbles were added to the display throughout the day, with the flower taking shape between 9 am and 2 pm when four independent witnesses officially judged the exhibition.
Spring into Cranleigh was sponsored by local Christmas Tree grower Hans Christmas Anderson. Julie Alexandersen from Hans Christmas Andersen said:
It was great to smash our target for the world record attempt, and we look forward to receiving the official confirmation from Guinness World Records in due course. This day was very much a team effort, with volunteers from all parts of the community coming together to pull off something exceptional.
Photograph courtesy of Joseph Denyer