Redbourn breaks world record at finale of 900th birthday celebrations

IT was hats off to Redbourn residents on Sunday as they flocked to the common wearing a medley of head pieces for the grand finale of the village’s 900th anniversary festivities.

Around 2,000 people turned out for the Redbourn 900 event which included a record-breaking hat-wearing conga dance on the common, an X-Factor style talent contest, famous sports personality appearances and a Mad Hatters tea party.

Former England cricket captains Mike Brearley and Mike Gatting held cricket masterclasses while Luton Town FC players helped youngsters hone their footballing skills.

The winner of Redbourn’s Got Talent was 12-year-old Townsend School pupil Lucy Hodson, who blew away the judges and audience with her rendition of Don’t Rain on My Parade.

Megan Kelsey, 13, came second in the competition and ‘Shame’ – a group of Redbourn Infants staff and teachers – took third place.

Tracy Bury, organiser of Redbourn’s Got Talent, said: “The buzz was brilliant and the crowd for the finale made everyone in the show feel excellent. You never know we might do it again next year.”

The world record-breaking conga dance was captured for posterity by world aerobatics champion pilot Mark Jefferies in a plane which came courtesy of local businessman Austin Trueman.

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The finale was the culmination of months of events to celebrate 900 years since St Mary’s Church was built, signalling the start of the village which residents know today.

Events since March have included family fun days, celebrations of rural life, a carnival, a civil war re-enactment and a flower festival. Redbourn was named Herts Village of the Year West this year and the celebrations were aimed at further developing and uniting the village’s vibrant and caring community.