Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Tuesday, December 8, 1998 Published at 02:41 GMT


Going underground - what a record!

Home for record-breaker Geoff Smith

A man who has been buried alive in a pub garden for more than three months has broken the record for the length of time spent in a wooden box underground.

Geoff Smith, 37, beat the European record of 101 days - set by his mother - at midnight on Monday.

Geoff Smith: A once in a lifetime experience
He told BBC Radio 5 Live he was delighted to have recaptured the honour for his family - and that he was staying underground for 150 days to beat the world record of 141 days.

But the Guinness Book of Records will not recognise the feat, saying it does not want to encourage dangerous stunts.

Asked if he would do it again in the event of his achievement being overtaken, Mr Smith replied firmly: "No. It's a once in a lifetime experience."

The BBC's Daniel Boettcher: "Geoff has stayed in touch with a TV and mobile phone"
Mr Smith, of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, was buried in the garden of the Railway Inn on 29 August in a 7ft long wooden box.

The pub landlord, Hartley Hughes, has organised a celebration party for friends and family.

"He's doing well because from day one we've done it as a stepping stone, we've set targets by the week, by the fortnight, by the month.

"The next stepping stone is to 20th December which is Geoff's birthday."

Mr Hughes explained that Geoff was fulfilling a lifetime dream.

"When his mother did it, he was seven years. He's now 37 and for last 30 years it's been his ambition to go and bury himself in a box," he said.

'My mother would be proud'

The world record was set by an American in 1981 and Mr Smith said he was looking forward to enjoying a late family Christmas when he emerges from the ground at the end of January.

He has a few small luxuries in his "coffin" - a television, a personal stereo and a little plastic Christmas tree.

Speaking through an air tube inserted in the box, he said: "I am very pleased to have reached this day. My mother would be proud of me."

He said he was well but having trouble sleeping as he uses up very little energy.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

27 Aug 98 | UK
A grave day for record breaking

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online