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Thursday, August 27, 1998 Published at 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK


A grave day for record breaking

Home for 180 days (Photo: Nottingham Evening Post)

It sounds like the premise for a horror film but Geoff Smith is not the least bit concerned about being buried alive.

Geoff Smith: "I just think it's time the record came back to Britain"
Which is a good job, since he is planning to spend the next six months living in a tiny wooden box underground.

His aim is to win back the world record which was first set by his mother in 1968.

On Saturday, Geoff will be buried seven feet underground in the beer garden of his favourite pub, the Railway Inn in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

[ image: Geoff and his girlfriend  (Photo: Nottingham Evening Post)]
Geoff and his girlfriend (Photo: Nottingham Evening Post)
He will live in a specially constructed wooden "coffin" which measures just 2.5ft x 2.5ft x 7ft and, if all goes to plan, will not come out for 180 days.

"It all started back in 1968 when my mother was buried alive for 101 days. She just wanted to get in the Guinness Book of Records," said Geoff, who luckily is not claustrophobic.

"An American has got the record now and I just think it's time it came back to Britain," he said.

Geoff's only link with the outside world will be a 9ins diameter plastic tube through which his food and drink will be supplied, and his body waste fed out.


Geoff, 38, says the box will be just big enough for him to do some basic exercises, "otherwise my muscles would waste away".

"I've got some home comforts. I've got a five-and-a-half inch colour TV and I shall be taking a Walkman with me."

He will also have a fan heater and cooler, books. The landlord of the Railway Inn, Hartley Hughes, says he will pass down a daily paper.

Grave diggers

"I think he's a raving lunatic," said Mr Hughes, who organised for local grave diggers to dig the trench which will be Geoff's home until late February.

"He's had to give up his job as a barman for this. I've got great confidence in the guy."

But even if he goes the distance, Geoff will not see his name in the Guinness Book of Records, as the publishers have dropped the catagory.

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