The Northbank, a stretch of central London that includes several iconic landmarks, helped promote its new local improvement plan with a friendly world record attempt last month for the fastest time to shake 100 hands by an individual.

The Northbank Business Improvement District (BID) initiative aims to help position and promote the area which includes Trafalgar Square, The Strand and the Aldwych, as a destination of choice.

One aspect of the initiative is the deployment of Ambassadors who will provide a street concierge service, which will see them welcome and give directions to domestic and international visitors within the area.


In order to attract publicity and awareness of the launch of BID, along with the work of the Ambassadors, Northbank decided to attempt the suitably themed handshake world record with a lunchtime event which took place outside the National Art Gallery in Trafalgar Square with the help of 100 tourists.

After three attempts by separate ambassadors it was Eduardo Fuentes, Ambassador Supervisor, who triumphed, setting the record in 1 minute 45 seconds, much to the gathered crowd’s excitement.


As well as achieving Northbank’s public engagement aim, with over 400 onlookers witnessing the event, the record bid also proved a success in terms of online publicity, with coverage in the London Evening Standard alongside social media coverage generating an overall online reach of over 3million views for the campaign.

Speaking after his successful attempt, Eduardo said “We were ecstatic to see so many people come down to help us make history, we had a lot of fun and the atmosphere was amazing! There are a lot of quick hands in The Northbank!”

Ruth Duston, Chief Executive of the Northbank BID, was similarly pleased with the success of the event.

She said: “We are delighted with the result - it’s great to be able to have a bit of fun with the people that make up this special part of London. The Ambassadors are integral to the area; helping visitors and locals find their way around, their knowledge of their area is second to none, and they are all so friendly. This event was a great way to kick off the BID launch celebrations!”


Mark McKinley, Guinness World Records adjudicator, who officiated on the day, added, "It's always exciting to witness a successful attempt of a Guinness World Records title, especially when it unites and includes so many people."

Pics: Mickey Lee, courtesy of The Northbank BID