World record is now 25 years old

Beano world record
Beano world record

A big, bold Guinness World Record which was set on the sands of Scarborough’s South Bay is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month.

The project to create the world’s largest comic strip - a 170ft by 285ft Beano front cover - was dreamt up by artists David and Jenny Hann.

After getting the backing of the Beano, which printed 500,000 copies of the comic on the day the record was broken, David and Jenny set about planning the mammoth task.

David explained: “Each square was 50ft high and we had to graph it up from a front cover with four inch squares.

“There were nine squares plus the Beano heading, with 75 A4 sheets for each square - that was 400 plus pieces of paper.

“Jenny was the one who made it work in that way - she spent night after night working on it.”

David secured a supply of non-pollutant vegetable dye to colour the sand, which was crucial to the success of the plan as there was only one place in the country that supplied it.

The pair also enlisted the help of hundreds of pupils from Scarborough schools, including St Augustine’s, Scalby, Raincliffe and Sixth Form College.

David said: “The kids were brilliant. They worked above and beyond what they could have done. We’ve often wondered what they’re doing now.”

The feat was a huge success and the Guinness World record still stands to this day.

David said: “We knew that when the Beano said they were going to put it on the front cover, it had to be perfect.

“The atmosphere on the day was electric - even for the adults. It was bigger and better than I thought it would be.

“It was fun and it was silly, but it had a real impact and was embraced by the community.”

The record was set on June 18, 1988, which was the Beano’s 50th anniversary year.

The comic has been in the news in recent weeks after The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were immortalised as cartoons, persuading Smiffy and the gang into eating their greens and reading books.

The royals were presented with framed prints during a visit to publishing company DC Thomson & Co in Dundee, where they started the firm’s new printing press.

The special edition sees them meet Dennis the Menace and Roger the Dodger in Beanotown’s Bash Street School.