Nostalgia: Sidmouth sets the record for longest conga in 1977

PUBLISHED: 16:12 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:41 25 April 2019

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

5,562 people join the line to conga into the Guiness World Record books during the RAF Red Arrows display in 1977.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. A clipping from the Sidmouth Herald's coverage of the event. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. A clipping from the Sidmouth Herald's coverage of the event. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

On Thursday, July 14, Sidmouth went down in history for hosting the world's longest ever conga line, with 5562 people dancing to the beat along the seafront.

The previous record of 4,311, held by Oklahoma University for the American “bunny-hop”, was smashed by the thousands of spectators that had gathered to watch an RAF Red Arrows display at 6.00pm.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth Herald reporter Judi Miles wrote:

“By 6.20pm, a crowd of 2,950 had formed the beginnings of a sanke. At 6.25, it was 3,680. Ten minutes later, 4,620 were counted and at 6.45 the record was declared with an official count of 5,562.”

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth held on to the title for just over 10 years, when it was eventually broken on March 13, 1988, by the Kiwanis Club of Little Havanna, Miami. A whopping 119,986 people dancing the conga was recorded during the Calle Ocho Music Festival - a record that remains unbeaten.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. The Red Arrows fly in at 6pm to give their aerobatic display. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. The Red Arrows fly in at 6pm to give their aerobatic display. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. The Red Arrows fly in at 6pm to give their aerobatic display. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. The Red Arrows fly in at 6pm to give their aerobatic display. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. The Red Arrows fly in at 6pm to give their aerobatic display. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.Sidmouth record congaline - 1977. The Red Arrows fly in at 6pm to give their aerobatic display. Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives.

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