World record holder Strongman John Evans is gearing up for his latest bid – to balance up to 100kg of Christmas puddings on his head. And the 91-time world record breaker is set to showcase his skill at the Bakewell Winter Wonderland event on November 18. Hohn, ‘the world’s number one head-balancing strongman’, said: “I’ve been breaking world records for over 23 years now but I’m really excited about this one. “I would like to thank Matthew Walker’s in Heanor for supplying the puddings, which will be sold to the public after the attempt for £5 each, with all proceeds going to Children in Need.” But Christmas puddings are just a one item on a long list of things 69-year-old John has balanced on his head.
His latest record was broken in April when John, of Awsworth Road in Ilkeston, balanced 11 smoking fire incinerators on his head.
Beer cans, washing machines, motorbikes and minis are just some of the other items on a long list of things that John has been asked to balance. As a result of John’s skill he’s travelled around the world, appearing on television shows, including appearances on the Jay Leno show in America. But John’s beginnings were a lot more humble.
He said: “It all started when I worked on building yards when I was younger.
“It was my job to carry the bricks over to the builders and the more I carried the more I was paid.
“I started trying out different ways of stacking and carrying them and I was soon up to 24 bricks.
“After a few years of working as a builder myself I saw a strongman in Ripley. All the press were there and TV cameras and I thought I’d try and see if I could still balance the bricks, I could and it went from there really.”
A few appearances in local press and John’s profile grew.
He was asked on BBC show Record Breakers where he set the record for balancing milk crates on his head – 90.
He’s since bettered his own record and continued to hone his unique skill. During his career, John has raised more than £200,000 for charity in 23 years, mostly for the Derbyshire Association for the Blind and Children in Need – which is what the latest bid is raising funds for.
He said: “I won’t ever do it for free because there are so many charities out there that I feel I can help by doing this. I want to give back.
“It is something I’m very proud of.”
The festive family wonderland is set to take place in Bakewell for the first time this winter over two long weekends on November 18 to 20 and December 9 to 11. Aside from John, attractions will include an ice rink, live reindeer, Father Christmas’s grotto, a funfair, live music and firework displays each evening.
Foodies can enjoy a wide range of food and drink, including German swing grills, British sausages, wood-fired pizzas, original Bakewell Puddings, churros, coffee bars and more plus mulled wine, Champagne, Prosecco and gin bars.
There will also be a plethora of artisan craft stalls selling Christmas gifts and stocking fillers such as handmade wooden baubles, bath products and food and drink items to take home and enjoy.
Shaun Hogg, event organiser, said: “This is an exciting event for Bakewell and the surrounding areas - nobody has attempted a Christmas event on this scale here before and we have still got more attractions to announce.
“We wanted to stage a spectacular, affordable family event packed full of festive entertainment and having John make an appearance has made it all the more special for everyone.”
For more information visit: www.bakewellshow.org.