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World Record Broken By Mastercard

Today MasterCard has smashed the world record for the longest picnic table to celebrate its partnership with The Big Lunch

Hundreds of people turned out at Potters Field, London, today to witness MasterCard break the world record for the world’s longest picnic table. The giant table was built to support MasterCard’s ongoing partnership with the Big Lunch. It covered an incredible 90 metres of ground and over 350 people sat down to enjoy the free lunches that were provided.

Former Blur star and passionate foodie Alex James hosted the lunch and ate with the crowds the lunches supported by Kingsmill, while Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, also popped by to enjoy the spectacle. MasterCard’s longest picnic table was created from a staggering 3540 screws, 1,230 metres of timber and weighed in at an immense 2.75 tonnes – the weight of a small whale!

In addition to breaking the world record, the mammoth table has now been divided into smaller picnic tables and is being donated to London’s parks, creating a lasting community legacy and areas for social gatherings across the Capital. Some of the Big Lunch’s most active London boroughs have been chosen to receive these tables for parks in their area and MasterCard hope that this will create thousands of Priceless moments across the city.

The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun. MasterCard is looking to encourage families, friends and neighbours across the country to join in The Big Lunch on Sunday 5th June - and you don’t need to be a record-breaker to sit down with your neighbours for a friendly lunch.

Shaun Springer, Head of Brand, Sponsorship and Digital Marketing, MasterCard UK & Ireland comments: “We’re over the moon that we’ve succeeded in breaking the world record for the longest picnic table today and providing a truly priceless occasion that the public could be a part of in the process. We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with The Big Lunch this year and wish to extend the legacy by providing parks and communities across London with their own picnic tables to encourage communities to come together, from hosting their own Big Lunches this year, to celebrating the Diamond Jubilee next year.”

Tim Smit, Head of the Eden Project, said: “With MasterCard’s ongoing support, The Big Lunch has got bigger and better each year. This new world record will hopefully remind last minute lunchers that The Big Lunch is coming up soon and inspire all to get involved.”

Alex James comments: “It’s been really fun getting involved in MasterCard’s Longest Picnic Table project – I’m glad we managed to smash the record! The public loved the event and it really highlighted the importance of spending time getting to know those who live around you to improve community spirit.”

Why not hold a Big Lunch in your neighbourhood? Big or small it's not too late to get involved! Visit www.thebiglunch.com or call 0845 850 8181 for your FREE starter pack containing everything you need to get your own Big Lunch off the ground.

Ends

Note to Editors:

For further information, please contact:
Doyel Maitra, Head of Communications UK & Ireland Division, MasterCard
Tel: +44 (0)207 557 5033,
doyel_maitra@mastercard.com

MasterCard Press Office:
Hollie Adamson on 020 7067 0234 or hadamson@webershandwick.com
Kat McGettigan on 020 7067 0253 or kmcgettigan@webershandwick.com

About MasterCard Worldwide
As a leading global payments company, MasterCard Worldwide prides itself on being at the heart of commerce, helping to make life easier and more efficient for everyone, everywhere. MasterCard serves as a franchisor, processor and advisor to the payments industry, and makes commerce happen by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, governments, businesses, merchants, and cardholders worldwide. In 2010, $2.7 trillion in gross dollar volume was generated on its products by consumers around the world. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network – the fastest payment processing network in the world – MasterCard processes over 23 billion transactions each year and has the capacity to handle 160 million transactions per hour, with an average network response time of 130 milliseconds and with 99.99 percent reliability. MasterCard advances global commerce through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro®, and Cirrus®; its suite of core products such as credit, debit, and prepaid; and its innovative platforms and functionalities, such as MasterCard PayPass™ and MasterCard inControl®. MasterCard serves consumers, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, please visit us at www.mastercard.com. Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews.

Construction of the bench

  • Constructed by a 2-man team based in a workshop near Southampton and assembled by Drive Productions Ltd, on behalf of MasterCard

  • The wood is PEFC certified (see http://www.pefc.co.uk) seasoned and vacuum treated pine wood

  • With maintenance the benches will last indefinitely and without maintenance they will last at least 10 years in outdoor conditions and regular use.

  • The benches are a traditional and age-proven design

  • 3540 screws were used, weighing approximately 25.2kg

  • 360 bolts were used, weighing approximately 14.4kg

  • 1230 metres of timber was used, weighing approx 2706kg

  • The total weight of the bench is approximately 2.75 tonnes

About The Big Lunch
The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many of the 61 million people in the UK as possible to have lunch with their neighbours on one day –  this year Sunday June 5. The idea has received funding for 3 years from the BIG Lottery Fund and is supported by MasterCard and EDF Energy. Since starting in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all kinds of communities with the best part of a million people having taken part each year.