Fans celebrate 20th anniversary of ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ with largest gathering of ‘Harry Potters’

Adjudicators from Guinness stipulated that every child had to be wearing a Gryffindor tie and glasses, with a wand in their hands and Potter’s trademark lightning scar on their foreheads.

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 June, 2017, 1:41am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 June, 2017, 6:04am

Nearly 700 children have broken the world record for the largest gathering of people dressed like Harry Potter, on the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first book in the series.

A gathering of 676 children wearing wizard robes and round glasses from 11 Bolton primary schools filled the lawn at Smithills Hall on Friday in an attempt to beat the Guinness record.

The previous record of 521 had been held since March 5, 2015 by Tanbridge House school in Horsham, West Sussex.

Adjudicators from Guinness stipulated that every child had to be wearing a Gryffindor tie and glasses, with a wand in their hands and Potter’s trademark lightning scar on their foreheads.

The pupils had to stand together for five minutes before they could celebrate breaking the record. Each participant was given a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

John Byrne, Bolton council’s cabinet member for culture, described the day as an amazing achievement. “We’re honoured and thrilled that Bolton has played such an important role in breaking this world record,” he said.

Bloomsbury publishing, who worked with Bolton Library and Museum Services to host the gathering, have staged a series of events to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first of seven Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The book, which has sold 450 million copies in 79 languages, first hit the shelves as part of a 500-copy print run on June 26, 1997.

The series is estimated to have amassed author JK Rowling a £600 million fortune.

Five-year-old Daniel from Pikes Lane primary school told the Bolton News the record had made waiting in the rain worthwhile: “I feel very good that we broke the record. I like Harry Potter anyway so the rain was alright.”