Neatly placed pillows and smooth cotton cases sat poised in a hotel conference room in preparation for one of Guiness’s more bizarre world record attempts yesterday.
The challengers, a team of 22 staff from the Brent Cross Holiday Inn, sat nervously analysing the materials they hoped would help them break the record for the most number of pillows stuffed into cases in one minute.
Last year, along with staff at 65 other branches of hotel owners IHG, the team helped better the existing record with an impressive combined total of 9,953 stuffed pillows.
Not comforted by their achievements 12 months ago, the cushion-crazy employees went in search of further glory this time around.
This was not just pillow talk – a video speech and motivational music helped build the suspense as the countdown to the vital 60 seconds began.
A practice run and a few hints and tips from the hotel’s team of housekeeping staff further readied the competitive crew before the signal arrived to begin the attempt.
A frenzy of linen ensued as the passionate-stuffers went to work attempting to get their names written in the history books.
In the chaotic and noisy conference room, two independent adjudicators patrolled the arena, keeping a close eye out for any backhanded tactics or pre-stuffed imposters.
After 60 seconds of white-cottoned mayhem, the time was up. Exhausted smiles filled the room as the official count began.
Last year’s Brent Cross team, made up of 24 staff, recorded 73 pillows at the final count. So it was no surprised when whoops and cheers filled the air at the announcement that this year’s team had almost doubled their effort with 139.
Star of the show was housekeeper Rima, who topped the statistics chart with 12 pillows stuffed - that’s one pillow every five seconds for you number crunchers out there.
Totals from all the hotels were submitted last night and Guinness is expected to confirm whether the record was broken this afternoon (Friday).
Head chef Vijay Negi, who cased a respectable five pillows, said afterwards: “Rima just showed practice makes perfect I guess. It was a lot of fun – I was pleased with my effort so now we just have to hope we broke the world record.”