When one wins a Guinness World Record, there are only ever three reactions:
1. CONGRATULATIONS!! or
2. Silence, or
3. “I know one that’s far bigger / faster / steeper.”
I am delighted by the first, I quite understand the second, but the third — which incidentally is the most common — leaves me completely baffled.
Harlech won the Guinness World Records Certificate for the World’s Steepest Street last Tuesday 16th July, and immediately the complaints came flooding in. ‘There’s a far steeper street in Lincoln / Shaftesbury / Bristol / Llandudno / San Francisco / Pittsburgh / Kalkan / insert your home town here.’
Well, no, there isn’t. If that was the case, why would it not be recognised by GWR as the world’s steepest? ‘Oh, I couldn’t be bothered. What a waste of time.’ There’s an element of truth there. It took us ten months from start to finish to win the record. But they’re bothered enough to post denigrating comments at three in the morning, perhaps after one bottle too many.
It’s a shame there isn’t a Green Text button on Facebook.
We’ve even had deniers who baldly state ‘No. Baldwin Street [in Dunedin, New Zealand, the previous record holder] is steeper.’
No it’s not. A gradient of 37.45% is steeper than 35%. Irrefutable. Undeniable. Steeper is steeper.
Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the first men landing on the moon. But there are legions of people who are convinced the moon landings were filmed in a shed in Arizona. Why? Because they just do, that’s why. And every one of them knows a street steeper than Ffordd Pen Llech.
No. They don’t.
Trump would probably dismiss the steepness of Ffordd Pen Llech as fake news. But it’s not. Because We Have The Certificate To Prove It.