World record attempt for “Longest washing line of socks” falls short
Three hundred volunteers attempted to set the world record for the “longest washing line of socks” in Helmond last weekend. Unfortunately, they were 250 meters short at the end of the challenge on Sunday afternoon, according to Omroep Brabant. Therefore, the record of 6,066 meters still lies with the German city of Halverde.
The challenge began on the Piet Blomplein at noon on Saturday. The volunteers scrambled to successfully hang up all 100,000 socks and 105,000 clothespins, but still fell short.
Lena Kuhlmann, a judge from the Guinness Book of Records, made her decision on the spot. It came as a shock to the volunteers who described how, “with our calculations, we arrived at more than 7,000 meters. But in the end, we came up short by 250 meters.”
The problem came when the team still had 15 minutes to go but no more socks left to hang. “We wanted to do it too perfectly. We were allowed to leave a centimeter between each sock, but we didn’t do that because we thought we would make more than that. If we had a centimeter in between left, then it would have worked. A real disappointment,” Tahné Kleijn, the team organizer, said.
Nevertheless, the team is pleased with how much money they raised for children in Helmond living under the poverty line. Almost 24,000 euros has been raised for 2,500 children. “That’s what it’s all about for us,” Kleijn told the broadcaster.
Moreover, the record-breaking attempt has brought the community together. “Young and old, all kinds of cultures, everyone helped. Ukrainian refugees also put up socks and sang the Ukrainian national anthem on stage. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” one volunteer recounted.
The washing line was dismantled on Sunday, with some socks being recycled and others hung in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Those socks are to be donated to refugees.
The team will talk with Stichting Leergeld van Helmond to work out how best the money can be used. “We are going to give these children the best day of their lives this summer.”