Guinness ask for thousands of pounds for RBL Weston launch
By Prue_Reid | Monday, November 19, 2012, 12:28
The launch of the Somerset and Bristol County Poppy Appeal on Weston-super-Mare beach at the end of October did not included the planned Guinness World Record attempt.
Official launch photo taken by Weston photographer Peter J Nicholls
Weston College students, cadets and school children were recruited to help create the largest human poppy formation for the famous record book.
But Royal British Legion area community fundraiser Sue Potepa abandoned the stunt when she found out the cost.
Sue said: "I decided not to go for the record when I was told that it would cost £4,500 for an official adjudicator and without one they wanted us to jump through hoops."
However, hundreds of supporters did turn out for the appeal launch last month including around 250 cadets, schoolchildren and students.
Using symbolic red umbrellas the young people formed the shape of a giant poppy at Beach Lawns.
They were watched by serving Armed Forces personnel, veterans and supporters.
The all-day event also included live music, the release of 300 balloons with messages of support for people serving with the Armed Forces and a speech from guest of honour Mark Langridge, an Army officer who led one of the two teams that raced each other across Antarctica this year to recreate the gruelling race for the South Pole between Captain Scott and Roald Amundsen a century ago.
Guinness has been setting world records for more than 50 years recording the biggest, longest, loopiest statistics imaginable - one of which must be the cost!
An old soldier told Local People he was unaware of the charges but recognised that Guinness is a commercial organisation.
He said the RBL has a policy of not complaining because it don't want bad publicity and this included if supermarkets didn't allow them to rattle collecting boxes inside their stores.
The first official Royal British Legion Poppy Day was held in Britain on 11 November 1921, inspired by the poem In Flanders' Fields written by John McCrae.
The RBL organises a fundraising drive each year in the weeks before Remembrance Sunday, during which artificial red poppies, meant to be worn on clothing, are offered to the public in return for a charitable donation.
The monies it collects is used to run recovery centres for injured personnel and it supports bereaved families to face life without a loved one.
Last year the RBL spent more than £89 million providing assistance to more than 160,000 serving and ex-serving Armed Forces personnel and their families.
The RBL has 2,500 branches worldwide offering comradeship and support.