When eight schools in Cumbria set out to write the World’s Longest Letter during National Stationery Week 2015, they hoped to set records for their epic writing efforts. Now it’s official, with the Official World Record organisation verifying the 290 metre letter as the longest letter believed to have ever been written.
Written on Ambassador paper, which is more often used for high-quality, commercial stationery, invitations and reports, the letter was started by children from Queen Katherine School, Castle Park School, Vicarage Park, Stramongate Primary School, Ghyllside Primary School, Grayrigg Primary School, St Oswald’s Primary School and St Thomas’ Primary School, all local to the James Cropper mill in Kendal, Lake District. Each child stepped up to say what it was about their local area that they loved, with the letter proposed to be part of the Lake District National Park’s bid for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
In summer 2015, it was decided by James Cropper and the National Park that the public should have their say and the letter was displayed in Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, with visitors of all ages invited to put pen to the letter. As the letter grew in length, so did the strength of people’s feeling towards the famously beautiful region, which James Cropper calls home. Many heartfelt messages were left, acclaiming everything from the breath-taking scenery to fantastic local food.
When the time to measure the letter came and bring the attempt to an end in October, Peter Hensman, chair of the Lake District National Park Partnership’s Business Task Force, Tim Tidman, Product Manager at James Cropper Paper and children from three of the participating schools came together to celebrate the end of a fantastic effort. Now, with the letter verified as a world record just a few weeks after it was completed, Mr Hensman and the 25 organisations responsible for the Lake District’s bid for World Heritage status in 2016 will use the tributes to show the UNESCO judging panel just what the region means to so many people.