Saturday 24 March 2018

Wacky Britons claim world records

Ozzy, a Border Collie/Kelpie crossbreed, has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest crossing of a tightrope by a dog
Ozzy, a Border Collie/Kelpie crossbreed, has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest crossing of a tightrope by a dog
James Brown, of Nottingham, has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for owning the largest collection of vacuum cleaners

Two wacky Britons - a tightrope walking dog and a vacuum cleaner collector - have taken the latest edition of Guinness World Records by storm.

Ozzy, a border collie/kelpie crossbreed, has entered the world famous tome for achieving the Fastest Crossing of a Tightrope by a Dog.

The four-year-old, a native of Anglesey, North Wales, crossed a 3.5m (11.4ft) rope in 18.22 seconds at the Faith Animal Rescue Centre in Norfolk.

Ozzy now lives in Norwich with his owner, 51-year-old carpenter Nick Johnson, who has no formal dog training experience but learned the techniques from the internet.

Mr Johnson said: "As Ozzy's parents are working sheepdogs on a farm, it's in his blood to want to work closely with me.

"Ozzy is most happy when he's working on the tricks that we do and regards it as a game.

"We also only practice when Ozzy is in the mood, after he's done all his important dog stuff, like sniffing around and meeting other dogs."

He added: "It makes me feel so happy and proud, that Ozzy and I have such a strong friendship and relationship we can work together on tricks and games that get the recognition of Guinness World Records."

James Brown, of Hucknall in Nottingham, also swept into the book for having the Largest Collection of Vacuum Cleaners - a whopping 322 models.

So vast is the eccentric 33-year-old's collection he has opened his own museum.

Mr Brown's interest began when he was four.

But he had to wait until he was eight before his parents bought him his first real model.

The majority of his quirky collection is not valuable because the machines are old and common, he said.

But certain machines in the collection are more prized because they are genuinely rare, such as some of his Kirby and Scott & Fetzer machines.

Regardless, Mr Brown said he would never sell his collection and he cannot envisage a day when he would stop collecting.

Yet asked if he would celebrate his achievement by plugging in a few models to suck up some dirt, he said: "I won't be cleaning. I don't enjoy house work."

The latest edition of the book is out today.

It has sold more than 120m copies and is the world's best-selling copyright book, available in more than 100 countries.

Editor-in-chief Craig Glenday said: "This eclectic and fascinating selection of record holders perfectly demonstrates the breadth - and the peculiarity - of this year's book.

"Where else would you find a vacuum-cleaner collector, a tightrope-walking dog and an oversized motorcycle all in one place?

"Only in Guinness World Records 2014.

"As a Brit, I'm also proud that UK record-holders are so well represented this year with such eccentric and charming record holders."

Other remarkable feats included in the book involve Indian boy Rohan Kokane, 12, who skated 10m (32.8ft) at a height of just 25cm (9.8in) to become the Lowest Limbo Skater.

From little wheels to large, b ig thinking Italian Fabio Reggiani, entered the book for constructing the world's Largest Rideable Motorcycle which measures 5.10m (16.8ft) from the ground to the handlebars.

Six times bigger than a normal motorcycle, i t is 10m (32.8ft) long, 2.5m (8.2ft) wide and weighs approximately five tonnes.

Reggiani, a 32-year-old product designer, led a team of eight people over seven months to build the vehicle.

It is powered by a 5.7L V8 engine, running at 280 HP with three forward gears plus reverse.

Reggiani, from Reggio Emilia, in northern Italy, added additional wheels for stability though it can be ridden without its stabilisers.

He never tires of the public reaction to his labour of love with his favourite response being: " O mamma mia come e grande!" ("Oh my mother, how big it is!")

Press Association

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