In a major boost to national pride, a Camber Sands man has become the first Englishman to successfully put up a deckchair in 120 years.
Paul Toomey, 55, a self-employed brick layer, made the record breaking attempt back on August Bank Holiday Monday but had to await verification from the Guinness World Records team, and the result of a stripey canvas test by the British Deck Chair and Folding Picnic Table Association, before going public.
‘I’m really chuffed’ said a jubilant Mr Toomey ‘I’ve been practising for years, ever since I saw my Dad catch his finger whilst struggling with his deck chair on Clacton beach in 1976. I vowed then that I would master this beast. I was even more determined to do so after that incident during our 1978 holiday to the Sunnyvale nudist colony.’
The last time an Englishman managed to put a deckchair up without clearing the entire beach was in 1893 when Bert Flint from Canvey Island spent almost 12 minutes in a chair before it collapsed. In 1990 Hans Grimmer from Berlin became the only living deckchair-erector, although many felt his attempt was invalid because of the chair’s metal frame.
Prime Minister David Cameron has passed on his own good wishes in a letter to Mr Toomey ‘This is a wonderful way for Britain to follow the Olympic legacy. I’m looking forward to having a bash at putting up a deckchair next time I’m in Cornwall. I’ll probably roll my trouser legs up and pop a knotted hankie on my head too. Sam likes that’.
As for Mr Toomey, he has no immediate plans to repeat the attempt. ‘Nope, that’s it for me. To be honest I’m not as thin as I used to be so it’ll be a few weeks before I manage to get out of this one. You haven’t got a winch or something have you?’