From Your Maidstone News, Author/Photographer unknown
Billy sets a new world record for making most pots
Mark ‘Billy’ Byles smashed the previous record of 83 by crafting an impressive 150 pots in the 60 minutes.
A large crowd turned out at the The Friars' Aylesford Priory on Sunday to see the venue’s own contestant set the new world’s best.
Mr Byles, the co-founder of Aylesford Pottery set within the religious grounds, was delighted by his record-breaking effort.
He told Yourmaidstone: “I’m feeling really happy. It was fantastic and a really good atmosphere.
“I was quite surprised by the amount of people that turned up but you could feel the anxiety – I’m quite happy that feeling has gone away now.”
Although he was quietly confident of beating the record, Mr Byles, from Ashford, had hurt his hand while making big terracotta pots days before the event.
He braved the injury to get on with the competition, saying: “My hand was OK, I just kept going but I’m resting it now.”
Former record holder Mary Chapelhow did her best to defend her title but even though she made more than her previous record, she lost out to Mr Byles by 32 pots.
Speaking before the competition Ms Chapelhow said that The Friars’ potter was her toughest competitor and perhaps it was time for a new champion.
She said: “This is Billy’s thing because he works in production and is used to it, so he should be feeling pretty confident.
“I have been doing this for many years now so maybe it is time for a change and to let someone else be the world record holder.”
Mr Byles, 37, said: “Mary did really well, she was a bit gutted she lost her title but that is just because she is so competitive.”
Mr Byles and Ms Chapelhow were joined in the final by David Melville, from Rochester.
There was meant to be more contestants but Mr Byles believes they backed out because they knew they wouldn’t stand a chance.
The world record attempt ran throughout the annual Potters Market, at the Friars, which attracts pottery enthusiasts from across the country.