Record attempt foiled by art critic copper

Set a brief to ‘break a world record’, first year Goldsmith’s design student Liz Baldwin attempted to draw a mile-long unbroken chalk line through London in the fastest time. Fifty yards from the end, in a Pythonesque moment, she was stopped by the police

Set a brief to ‘break a world record’, first year Goldsmith’s design student Liz Baldwin attempted to draw a mile-long unbroken chalk line through London in the fastest time. Fifty yards from the end, in a Pythonesque moment, she was stopped by the police

Apparently, the world record for drawing the fastest, unbroken, mile-long chalk line is an hour and 20 minutes. Liz Baldwin set out to break that record, scrabbling on her hands and knees through the streets of east London. Along the way she encountered curious shopkeepers and encouraging passsers-by, dodged dogs and traffic. But just when she was on the verge of making history, up stepped a distinctly unimpressed copper who cruelly, and hilariously, put an end to the fun, dismissing her endeavours thusly: “There’s no real need for it.” Well, quite.


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  • Wow that’s annoying. Does he really have the authority to do that?

  • A

    That coppers a douche, should of hanged about for a bit and then finished the job….Plus, can you be done for criminal damage for that!!??!? methinks not

  • Ed

    What an arsehole. The Police really don’t help themselves in coming across as entirely humourless bastards do they? Just a little bit of flexibility/humanity/understanding would go a long way.

    Still, probably will get more publicity this way for Liz and it was a good idea, so a pretty good outcome nonetheless!

  • Alasdair Scott

    What a brilliant video!

  • Gotta draw the line somewhere.

  • Jonti

    That’s a bally shame. Hope she gets another go at it!

    Although speaking editorially… who shot the entire video in portrait mode?

  • The thin white line

  • tom

    I’m not exactly blown away by this piece of art either, but gosh darn I’ll defend her right to do it.

    Authoritarian, big brother state, fascist, bigoted, anti-freedom, tiny dick PIG.

  • Fenton

    Whatever happened to artistic license?

  • Victor

    ‘People have been enjoying it’ – what a perfect response

  • Marcia

    Brilliant idea! Well done for just attempting. I hope you give it a go again. The ‘white line’ can carry so much artistic meaning …

  • Juliet

    Great project!

  • Steven Marsden

    That policeman is a complete tosser and has just ruined my morning.

  • Reefer_Sutherland

    F**k the police. Jobsworth weapon.

  • How very disappointing!

  • Ben N


  • Chris

    That’s hilarious! It just goes to show how the police really don’t help themselves. It’s still criminal damage, what a twat. I really want to be able to be proud of the police force, there will be some really good people doing the job, but a chalk line being drawn to try and break some kind of record as criminal damage and told to stop. Whoever that fella is, find yourself a sense of humour and get back in your box!

    Her response was really perfect…People have been enjoying it. His response on the other hand was moronic “Really?”
    Good on you! I’d have become quite shouty me thinks!

  • Liam

    Would it not be possible to gain some kind of permission to do this? The ability to show some kind of signed letter or something could have really shut him up. Oh and is this the same project that somebody was trying to break the most photos with a tongue poking out for?

  • Joe

    I think the policeman summed up what most people would think.

    World records for endurance, skill or intelligence are great, but drawing a mile long chalk line? Some people have too much time on their hands.

  • katherine

    I think you should have carried on, what’s the worst that could have happened? fair play for doing as much as you did!

  • Claire

    it was a pretty pointless piece of art right up until the moment he stopped in. Unintentionally he actually made it important.

  • Yes Liz!! Another victory for the urban reindeer

  • Paul

    Hope she chalks that up to experience.

  • Ed

    @ Claire

    A pointless piece of art maybe, but an efficient and successful piece of design. Task: break a world record Solution: draw a long line with some chalk. The goal of the brief was never importance or poignance – that’s down to people’s interpretation.