A BROUGHSHANE schoolboy has officially entered the Guinness Book of World Records after crafting a loom band bracelet that stretches more than a mile.
Loom bands are small colourful elastic straps that can be woven together to create necklaces and charms.
Mark Millar (10) started the challenge in October 2018, before he and his family decided to contact the Guinness Book of World Records to check if it would be applicable.
The previous record for the longest loom band made by an individual had been achieved by a schoolgirl in Wales back in 2016.
Measuring the huge loom band a day after Mark’s 10th birthday on September 21, 2019, the length of 6,291ft 8in (1,917.70m) was sent off to officials at the Guinness Book of World Records to be verified.
Now having officially received his certificate confirming the record, along with an upcoming inclusion in next year’s book, the “delighted” youngster has been celebrated by his family, primary school and the Broughshane community.
The Belfast Telegraph quoted him as saying: “I was doing this challenge to break the Guinness World Record because I wanted to be famous and get my name in the book one day.
“I had kind of always been into loom bands. I started making these loom band bracelets and I wanted to make a really big one. I looked up the record for the world’s biggest loom band and the biggest was 1,089m.
“I guess it almost took me about a year to make it in total and I did it all by myself. I love maths at school and so it was counting the measurements of the bands that I really loved.
“I got an adjudicator to measure it and I’m hoping it will be in 2021 book.”
While mum Hester originally didn’t believe Mark would be able to break the record, she praised her son’s determination and perseverance.
“A fortnight ago, I got an email that he broke the record and then the certificate arrived a week ago.
“We are just all really pleased. When he got out of school and saw the certificate, he ran inside to tell his teacher. Broughshane Primary School had kind of been involved in it all the way through, since he had taken it in to show them as it was going on.
“The school was doing maths week that October time, so when it was really tiny he took it in to measure it.”
She added: “He is a determined boy. He started when the weather was bad and he would have sat on the sofa and crafted it for hours every day. Also every day before school or free time in school, he would have worked on it.”
In order to meet the Guinness Book of World Record requirements, the family enlisted the help of local surveyor and family friend Mervyn McNeil, using his particularly long driveway to measure the finished band up and down the path.
“Our drive is 50m up and down so we set up a plank at the top and bottom. It took us a full afternoon, about four hours going up and down with the chain,” Mervyn said.
“I have never helped to measure anything like this before. I thought it would be good to help him out. My daughter helped him as well going up and down and we had a nice day. Luckily that day was one of the few days we had sun.”
Despite the success and accolades for Mark, the ambition doesn’t stop, with the young man already thinking about his next challenge.
“I’m trying to make the longest paper chain next. The longest one at the moment is 779m. I haven’t started that yet though,” he added.