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RECORD BREAKING: Man names all 712 Titanic survivors from memory

RECORD BREAKING: Man names all 712 Titanic survivors from memory

Image: SWNS

A man with an amazing memory has bagged a stunning world record by being able to recall the names of all the 712 survivors of the Titanic disaster in under 41 minutes.

Dean Gould, 56, took just 41 minutes and 23 seconds to reel off the list of over 700 names of those who survived from the famous cruise liner, which sank after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage in April 1912.

The dad-of-three barely paused to think as he sat and recited the names in front of a panel of five adjudicators on May 25 - setting an impressive, brand new world record in the process.

And it is just the latest feather in his cap for Dean, from Felixstowe, Suffolk - who has previously set or broken 53 other world records, dating all the way back to 1984.

The list of Titanic names is the third memory-related world record for Dean, who has previously recited 'Pi' from memory to 1,000 decimal places in just eight minutes and 14 seconds, in May 1998.

And in June 2016, Dean became the quickest person to write down all 979 letters, numbers and symbols that make up Einstein's Equation of Relativity, in 65 minutes and three seconds.

But Dean, who works for a double-glazing company, said that this latest world record is one of his favourites that he has ever completed.

He said: "This one was one of the most rewarding, because of the amount of interest I had from other people about what I was doing.

"Sometimes, when I tell people about the world records I have planned, their interest is mostly just polite - for instance, not everyone can get very excited about me reciting Pi.

"But the Titanic is such an important part of history, so this record has had a much, much wider audience interest.

"I like to think I've made memory world records look a little bit glamorous."

Dean came up with the idea for the Titanic world record at the start of this year - and, by the end of January, he had committed all 712 names to memory.

He said: "I just thought it would be an interesting thing to do, because the Titanic is so famous.

"And I think a lot of people tend to forget people's names, even when sometimes they're on the tip of your tongue but you can't quite remember.

"So I thought I'd combine the two and have a go at this record."

Dean was able to find the list of names of the Titanic's survivors - as well as short biographies about them - through the website Encyclopedia Titanica.

He said: "I'd actually learnt them all by the end of January - but because of lockdown, I had to wait a few months before I could actually book a venue to have a go at the record."

Dean uses an ancient Greek memory method called 'loci' to help him remember long lists of items for his memory records.

He said: "The way that it works, is that you picture each item on your list along part of a journey in your mind.

"So for me, my 'journey' started in my garden, went through my house, down the street, into shops I go into often, along the shop aisles, back out of the shops and a bit further down the street.

"In total, the journey in my mind was about eight miles long.

"Then you pick out certain landmarks along the 'journey', and you turn the names on the list into an 'image', and you pin it to that landmark.

"For instance, one of the names on the list was Albert Fryer, so I created a mental image of Albert Einstein holding a frying pan.

"Then there was William Weller, so I pictured my son's friend William, standing next to the singer, Paul Weller.

"Once I had all the names turned into mental images, it was very easy to walk along the journey in my mind and recite the list of names.

"It's like going into a form of meditation, but with a psychedelic journey."

And Dean said that he felt "relieved" after he had completed the world record - and is now thinking about what record to attempt next.

He said: "I was glad to have it out of the way. I'd had the names in my head for such a long time, and now I can move on to the next thing."

Words: Sarah Lumley, South West News Service

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