When Mancunian Brian Sterling-Vete decided to organise a fundraising world record attempt to gather the greatest number of people dressed as ghosts at Platt Fields Park in Manchester on Saturday 29 October, he did not expect events and the elements to conspire against him.
Brian, who lives close to Platt Fields in Fallowfield, is no stranger to setting world records as in 2005 he organised a successful Guinness World Record of mass participation plate spinning with 398 plates spun for 10 seconds in Cadiz, Spain. He now saw an opportunity to combine his interest in researching the paranormal with a community-based fundraiser for the greyhound charity he supports closer to home in his neighbourhood park.
“The Greyhound Gap dogs need urgent help to get through the winter months due to the international energy crisis sparked by both the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 national financial support aftermath.”
However, as Brian conceded, the tragedy of the recent nearby fatal stabbing in Fallowfield and the inclement weather may have deterred many from attending.
“The weather was so against us and our hearts go out to the families and the people involved in the sad recent events. What we want to do is regain the community and even though terrible events like this happen we are not downhearted. The Greater Manchester Police, the Council and the Park Authorities are doing a wonderful job reclaiming the park for the community and they have been behind us from the start.”
In addition, a simultaneous ‘March of the Mummies’ in central Manchester may have drawn many away who are currently facing increasing hardship due to expensive childcare and poor paternity benefits, causing an increasing number of women of childbearing age to drop out of the workforce.
In total, only 115 attended in suitable attire of sheets with eyeholes, far short of the 562 record breaking target. But Brian remained undeterred:
“Today has a double-barrel cause for the community and a worthy cause. The next time we will choose another cause.”
For donations to the Greyhound Gap please see https://www.greyhoundgap.org.uk
For community involvement and information on Platt Fields Park, click here.
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All images: Gary Roberts