Getting on track for bear record attempt

Norbert the bear pictured with, from left, Jez Wheldon from Indigo Alley, Liam Watt and David Hooper from Military Action Park.'121337b

Norbert the bear pictured with, from left, Jez Wheldon from Indigo Alley, Liam Watt and David Hooper from Military Action Park.'121337b

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HUNDREDS of teddy bears are set to ride the rails as part of a pair of unusual world record attempts.

Tomorrow afternoon, the North Bay Railway’s ‘Teddy Bear Express’ will hopefully set off at 4.30pm with 800 cuddly passengers on board.

Holiday Season Feature... North Bay.'Youngsters have fun in the inflatable water balls.'111803j. Pic Kevin Allen. '02/05/11.

Holiday Season Feature... North Bay.'Youngsters have fun in the inflatable water balls.'111803j. Pic Kevin Allen. '02/05/11.

The aim is to try to break the world record for the most teddy bears on a train.

And in a further twist, driving will be Graeme Harper, a Bafta-winning TV director more accustomed to being behind a camera than the levers of a train.

The event is the brainchild of both David Fardoe, the manager of the North Bay Railway Group, and local woman Minty Steabe.

She said the purpose of the event was to raise money for local animal charities, as well as to help Mr Harper fulfil two lifelong ambitions in one day.

“Graeme always wished to drive a train and a tank.

“I racked my brains and it came to me that he could drive our train and also drive a tank next door (at the Military Adventure Park).”

The record is one of two that organisers are hopeful will be smashed tomorrow, as they look to raise money for Raw Animal Rescue, Hope Animal Shelter and Veteran Horses.

A relay team will literally try to walk on water to claim the record for the longest distance covered in a water walking ball across the lake in Northstead Manor Gardens.

Minty said that she is not a hundred per cent sure that any records officially exist for either the train or the water walk.

Still, no matter how serious the records are, she believes the most important thing is putting a smile on people’s faces.

“We have to find something different. It’s got to be fun.”

“If you can raise some money from something that’s fun and enjoyable then why not?

“You just want to help when you can, and there’s no harm in that.”

People can put their teddies on the train as part of the record bid. The train sets off at 4.30pm, with the water relay following afterwards.

Event organiser David Fardoe said: “It should be a really fun day out.”