More Than 430 Nigels Gather In Pub For World Record Attempt
There are many things on the decline in 2019 which we should all be deeply worried about: polar ice caps, rhinos, decent music.
However, the decreasing numbers of Nigels in England and Wales rarely gets a look in - because obviously, no one gives a s***.
But Nigel Smith wasn't prepared to watch on as his namesakes were driven into extinction, and after learning that no Nigels were born in England and Wales in 2016, he decided to do something about it.
The 56-year-old determined that the best course of action was to organise the largest ever gathering of Nigels to raise awareness of the decline of Nigels and celebrate all things Nigel. In total, 432 Nigels congregated at the Fleece Inn, Bretforton, Worcestershire, UK, bringing along with them photo ID and signing the 'the book of Nigel' to make a list for Guinness to verify their new record.
Reflecting on the inspiration for the event, Mr Smith said: "It started as a laugh to get Nigels together. We are going extinct in 2019. There were no Nigels registered in 2016 so I thought it would be a good idea to get us all together.
"But as a child of the sixties it takes me a while to get around to things. As the idea grew I decided to host this event and go for the record.
"In the year I was born, 1963, there were over 5,000 Nigels born. It was peak Nigel. It was so ubiquitous and it became much-maligned. At school I used to have the mickey taken out of me. I've got two children and none are called Nigel."
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I mean, if he was really dedicated to the cause, he could have named them both Nigel, no matter how inconvenient it may have been.
As for why the name appears to have gone out of fashion, Mr Smith reckons one Nigel in particular may have something to do with it.
He said: "I think names are cyclical and it's gone out of fashion. A lot of people don't like the name.
"It's possible the Nigel who shall not be named, Nigel Farage, has had an impact.
"A man who changed his name from Nigel to Niall came and we convinced him to pull himself together."
Of course, if more than 400 Nigels are gonna gather in one pub, then they're obviously gonna have loads of Nigel-based fun. This fun included music from a band comprised of two Nigels, a comedian - called Nigel, and loads of Nigel-named brews, such as Nigel, NigAle, Mad Nigel and Nigel's Best.
As well as having a great night with Nigels from the world over, the event also raised money for the British Heart Foundation.
Mr Smith said: "One Nigel from California happened to be in the UK and came and another travelled over from Texas. People also came from all over the country - from Newcastle, Cornwall and even a few from Scotland.
"There wasn't space in the pub, so we all gathered in a marquee outside.
"We're trying to get more Nigels into the world. A nine-month-old Nigel came. It was a great evening."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS