Where's Wally? Quite a few have been spotted at Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds

Six-month-old Ivy Eastwood with Sandra and Nadine Cuddy..
Six-month-old Ivy Eastwood with Sandra and Nadine Cuddy..

Generations of children have gathered around Where’s Wally? picture books in excited efforts to find the famously elusive character in loopy locations.

But nobody could fail to spot the red and white stripes today as a suitably bizarre world record attempt for the most Wallys together at once took place at Leeds beauty spot Kirkstall Abbey.

Crowds enjoy the sun at Kirkstall Abbey.

Crowds enjoy the sun at Kirkstall Abbey.

Mums, dads, children, grandparents – and even the dogs – turned out for the event in the character’s trademark garb and thick, round specs.

Organiser Adele Rae, 51, said: “It was a world record attempt but we made a slight adjustment. Because it was always about bringing people together and having fun – we knew we were never going to break the world record – we decided we would do the first world record of the amount of Wallys in an abbey – which we smashed by 177 plus three stuck in a car in traffic!”

Wallys aside, it is thought that around 1,000 people turned out to the event, which was mainly aimed a promoting good health.

Activities included crafts, singing, and laughing yoga – an exercise of prolonged voluntary chuckling which aims to set others off too.

Dogs were brought along too.

Dogs were brought along too.

There was a Kirkstall Valley Development Trust 2018 Cutest Dog Dressed as Wally competition, won by little Tia, and one for the “waggiest tail”.

Community director of the trust Adele, of St Ann’s Way in Burley, said: “It was just lovely to see people laughing and having fun.

“The whole thing was about health and wellbeing. We were addressing social isolation.”

She added that there are many brilliant professional events at the 12th-century Cistercian marvel, but the trust wanted to put on the free event because not all of them are affordable.

Enjoying the event.

Enjoying the event.

The actual world record was set by the people of Nagasaki in Japan last year, with more than 4,600 Wallys present.
Time-travelling globe-trotter Wally - or Waldo, as he is known in the USA - was the invention of Martin Handford.

The British children’s author and illustrator released the first Where’s Wally? book in 1987 and the main character, along with his dog Odlaw, have been familiar faces since. His idea was later turned into a television series, which included freeze-frames so that viewers could try and spot Wally within a set time.