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Tuesday, 07 February 2012
Bolton School Girls' Division has today been celebrating the
bicentenary of Charles Dickens' birth.
When twelve year old Year 8 pupil Francesca Adams heard that
pupils were being encouraged to dress as characters from Dickens'
stories, she decided it would be even more fun to try and set a new
Guinness World Record for the most people dressed as fictional
characters. She told her Form Teacher, who told the
Headmistress and suddenly the Girls' Division was on a mission -
the record to beat was 644 people, held by Chelmsford County High
On the day, the majority of pupils from the Senior School and
Sixth Form dressed up as Dickensian characters, as did members of
staff and Year 6 of the Junior Girls' School. The girls gathered in
their Great Hall for their morning assembly where official
witnesses and stewards counted the participants. It soon
became clear that a new record was going to be set as the steward
counted 739 participants.
Francesca said: "It was very exciting to see everyone dressed
up. There were some fantastic costumes. I got the idea
from the Guinness World Records book that I got at
Christmas. I am thrilled that we have broken the
To satisfy, the Guinness World Records (GWR) criteria, two
independent witnesses and a steward were called in to
officiate at the event. Nigel Taggart, photographer at the
Bolton News and Robert Berry, a local photographer, were the
witnesses and local businessman Peter Hackin, Director of Silk
Group Ltd, was the official steward. The evidence will be
sent to GWR for final verification.
Throughout the day, the girls celebrated the life of Charles
Dickens and many lessons were themed around his work. There
were Dickens readings in assembly and the catering team served up
gruel at lunch time.
Sixth Former Ruth Brown, aged 17, said: "It is important to
celebrate Dickens as he is one of the most influential writers
there has ever been. The day will hopefully turn people on to
Dickens who may not have read much of his work. Through his
writing he created some wonderful and well-loved characters.
I have been really enjoying the BBC's latest adaptation of
Great Expectations. The day has also been a great excuse to
dress up. I was so impressed with one girl's Miss Havisham
costume, which included only wearing one shoe!"
During the day pupils also received a visit from representatives
from The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, who brought with
them a puppy that has the nickname "The Artful Dodger". They
came in to congratulate the girls on raising enough funds to
sponsor their second guide dog which will be called
Mrs Theresa Sowerby, Head of English in the Girls' Division,
said: "This is a chance to promote Dickens as an author who still
has plenty to say to us today. Corrupt bankers and the
rich-poor divide didn't become history with the Victorians.
But most importantly, Dickens is a comic genius, a student of human
nature and a fantastic story-teller."
You can view several galleries of photos recording the day:
School's gallery of photos
gallery of photos of the day on the BBC website.
The Manchester Evening News gallery of photos.
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