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Article: Record-Breaking Cracker Fun

Record-Breaking Cracker Fun

What could be more fun than snapping a cracker or two when you’re celebrating with family and friends? 

In this blog, we bring you stories about people who got such a kick out of it, they took the game to a whole new level and snapped their way into the record books! First, there’s our feature story of the fierce (yet friendly) competition between the UK and Australia to create the world’s longest Christmas cracker. And then there’s the wonderful tale of the longest Christmas cracker pulling chain of over 1,000 festive-spirited young participants! 

Read on to find out more about who’s won when, where and how …

Record breaking crackers or bonbons

That is One Long Christmas Cracker!

World’s Longest Cracker Near Completion

World’s Longest Cracker Near Completion 

CreditBucks Free Press

If, at first glance, you thought this grainy photo (so pre-iPhone pics!) was of a train under construction, you wouldn’t be alone! But no … it’s the masterful in-progress creation that would go on to break the world record for the longest Christmas cracker, held till this day! 

But, before we share all the fascinating facts about this R&D feat, let’s backtrack to the origin story of the battle for the longest bonbon…

A Hundred-Year-Old Rivalry

It was just over a hundred years ago, in December 1922, that the world’s largest Christmas cracker burst onto the world scene and set a record to behold at 10.7 metres long and 1.5 metres in diameter. The cracker took four men an entire week to scaffold and erect in the ballroom at the Savoy Hotel in London. And for what worthy purpose? … For the Children’s Ball and the joy of teams of boys and girls who had the fun of cracking the bonbon!

This record was to stand for a long time – sixty-four years in fact!

And then, in 1986, a team at British Aerospace (who else?!) in Weybridge, UK, smashed the record with a cracker that was over 24.5 metres long. It took them nine hours to assemble it at the Elmbridge Leisure Centre in the village of Walton-on-Thames where … let’s keep the records coming … it was pulled by the world’s strongest man, Geoff Capes

Now on a roll, the Brits broke the record again in 1990 with a cracker measuring 42.7 metres. This one was built along Carlton House Terrace in Central London and was snapped by actor Sir Brian Rix, the incumbent Labour Party Leader Neil Kinnock and 50 school children. In what was to become a tradition, the jumbo-sized cracker exploded in a cascade of toys and balloons, and much fun was had by all!

Australia Goes one Better!

Just a year later, on the 9th of November 1991, in a masterful move by international rugby player Ray Price, Australia usurped the crown from the Brits with a massive cracker measuring almost 46 metres (150 feet) long and over three metres in diameter. It was snapped in a car park in Sydney, no doubt to the considerable joy of proud Sydneysiders! 

Quite the high-achiever, Ray Price then went on to break his own record on the 16th December 1998 with a cracker that was almost 55 metres long and 3.6 metres in diameter. This amazing creation was again cracked in Sydney, this time in a shopping centre (move over, Santa!).

So, as you can see, Australia was the proud carrier of the crown for seven years!

However, trouble was brewing in the northern hemisphere and, within three years, the Brits had reclaimed the throne. Here’s the story how …

Cracking Australia’s Record

As a fundraising initiative at Ley Hill School in the English county of Buckinghamshire, an enterprising P&C member, Andrew Garnett, came up with the idea of reclaiming the world’s largest Christmas Cracker title. Having been involved in the 1990 triumph in London, you can only imagine his eagerness to smash the Aussie record! 

In addition to raising funds and establishing a new world record, the aim was to create a fun team-building activity and give everyone a pre-Christmas boost - and how could it not?!

Planning got underway in the Summer of 2001 and you can see what a wonderful undertaking it was …

Constructing the World’s Longest Cracker

Constructing the World’s Longest Cracker

Credit: Bucks Free Press

Eye-catching appeal was only one of the criteria, however … In order to qualify for the Guinness Book of Records, the cracker had to look and work like a real one, had to go Snap! when pulled, and had to contain at least one present, a hat and a joke (this last part seems like a relative cinch!).

Event Manager Moya Winter, a  team of local experts and over 50 volunteers carried out the project, which was, to say the least, quite a big deal! A village road had to be temporarily closed to accommodate the cracker, which took four days to build. The structure was made of wood, covered with over 800 metres of cardboard painted red, and seated on sets of rollers. And another fun fact – 1300 bolts were used to hold it together!

And the Cracker Goes Snap!

The big event was set for the 20th December, 2001, which … drumroll … all went like clockwork! The weather was good, the guest celebrity (Al Hunter Ashton, an actor from a popular TV show) turned up on time and there was ample radio and television coverage. The BBC even ran a piece entitled ‘Village’s crack at the record books’.

Forty-four children from Ley Hill School pulled the cracker, with a bit of extra muscle thrown in by three local rugby players. Off went the cracker with a Bang! And out came 300 balloons, a giant hat, toys and a corny joke about Santa! 

Independent assessors were on hand to ensure it qualified for the Guinness Book of Records. Which it certainly did. The chartbusting cracker measured 63.1 metres long and four metres in diameter, and you can see what a masterpiece it was! 

World Record-Holding Longest Cracker

World Record-Holding Longest Cracker

Credit: Vercalendrio

And so it was that in a village in south-east England almost 22 years ago, Australia’s record was defeated by almost eight metres!

The team here at Bonbon Fusion think it’s time we brought the record back to Australia, with a focus on using recyclable and compostable materials. We’ve been on the company’s leader and chief engineer Nick McLean’s case to do some skilful R&D, but with limited success so far.

What do you think? An absolute hoot and another line in the record table soon in the making?  

World’s Largest Christmas Cracker Record Table

Worlds largest christmas cracker record table

These amazing design feats are such a fun and novel way of highlighting your place on the map!

Another great way of hitting the record books is by the weight of numbers …

The World’s Longest Christmas Cracker Chain

The current holder of the title for assembling the Guinness World Records longest Christmas cracker chain is the Harrodian School in Barnes, south London. Full credit to them on this mighty achievement, although it’s a bit much that the Brits win again! 

Anyway, the Harrodian school community came together on the 10th December 2015 to form a continuous chain of 1,081 people who simultaneously cracked their allocated Christmas crackers. Each person held two crackers, one in each hand, and alternate players had to have their arms crossed to ensure the continuity of the chain. An organisational victory, to be sure, and one which proved harder than it even sounds. (They’d unsuccessfully attempted to beat the record the previous year.)

It looks like a lot of fun, don’t you think?

The World’s Longest Christmas Cracker Chain

The World’s Longest Christmas Cracker Chain

Credit: Harrodian

The previous Guinness World Records holder was a group of 798 people from Youth St Vincent de Paul in Waterford, Ireland. They entered the record books the previous year, on the 15th December 2014, so only held the title for a year. 

The record chase is still going strong, however, with a Dublin primary school attempting to smash the world record on the 18th November last year. The planned event made local news, with much excitement afoot about 1,200 crackers being lined up in a field outside the school. 

It’s been hard to find any updates and it seems like the mission might sadly have failed. The 2015 London record still stands!


These are two of the many fun-filled Christmas cracker record events just waiting to be outdone! And, of course, why limit the excitement to Christmas? Here at Bonbon Fusion, we delight in celebrating festive occasions all throughout the year with bonbon-snapping fun!

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