A meandering street in northwest Wales that challenges the fittest of walkers and cyclists has been confirmed as the steepest in the world.
Ffordd Pen Llech in the historic town of Harlech — better known for its castle and rousing song, Men of Harlech — has been judged steeper than Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Residents have long campaigned for the Guinness World Records title and were planning a huge party to celebrate the accolade.
It has been established that the street has a gradient of 37.5 percent at its steepest point, compared with Baldwin’s Street mere 35 percent.
Gwyn Headley, who led the town’s campaign to claim the title, said: “I feel utter relief and jubilation. I feel sorry for Baldwin Street and the New Zealanders, but steeper is steeper.”
Headley expressed regret at the timing of the announcement, following hard on the heels of New Zealand’s unfortunate loss in the Cricket World Cup final to England (and Wales — the governing body is the England and Wales cricket board), but said: “At least they have the Rugby World Cup ... for the moment.”
Winning the title was a lot tougher than the townsfolk had anticipated.
“Guinness World Records was ultra-specific in the criteria demanded for it to qualify as the steepest street in the world, and although we were confident in meeting or exceeding nine of them, we were worried about the 10th,” said Headley.
The 10th criterion was that Guinness World Records required a blueprint of the street.
The Harlech bid justified its absence because the street has been there since time immemorial, or at least 1,000 years, before there were such things as blueprints.
A surveyor called Myrddyn Phillips, an expert on mountain measuring, did much of the hard work.
He used a combination of hi-tech — a satellite dish — and low-tech — chalk — to mark out key points and bricks to keep a tripod steady to take a series of measurements on the street.
At one point a volunteer dropped a brick and was astonished to see it rolling down the hill.
To qualify for the title, the street or road also must be a thoroughfare that is commonly used by the public, who are able to drive vehicles across it.
Ffordd Pen Llech is flanked by 300-year-old houses and an ancient route to the castle. Motorists do use it — and the unskilled often become unstuck.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
A squad of gun-toting police officers patrolled Myanmar’s sacred site of Bagan under the cover of night, taking on plunderers snatching relics from temples forsaken by tourists due to COVID-19 restrictions. Each evening as dusk falls, about 100 officers fan out across the plain of Bagan covering 50km2, sweeping flashlights over the crumbling monuments to scour for intruders. “Our security forces are patrolling day and night,” Police Lieutenant Colonel Sein Win told reporters. “We have it under control for the moment, but it’s a challenge.” The central Burmese city is strewn with more than 3,500 ancient monuments — stupas, temples, murals and sculptures