CHOCOLATE lovers were given the dream challenge of attempting to eat an entire Terry’s chocolate orange in world record time, writes Sean Haggerty.

The event took place yesterday at Goddards on Tadcaster Road in York, home of Noel Terry of the Terry’s of York chocolate firm.

Clare Fletcher, visitor experience and volunteering manager, said: “We thought it would be an apt way to open the new season at Goddards with a chocolate-eating contest.”

The contest took place in the drawing room, which is surrounded by pictures of the original designs for the Terry’s chocolate boxes, and involved staff and volunteers from Goddards along with staff from Beningbrough Hall and Treasurer’s House National Trust properties.

But the world record of one minute and forty-two seconds, held by Adrian Paul Blake in Bournemouth, proved too much of a challenge for these chocolate-loving contestants.

Participants had to open the chocolate from its box as the timer started and then devour the sweet stuff.

Beningbrough Hall trainee gardener Neil Irving finished first in just over three and a half minutes, after steadily making his way through the 175g of chocolate split into 20 segments. He said it was the first time he had tried anything like it and suffered no ill effects.

Jessica Owens was the only woman taking part and was also eager to do well. Although she said she found it harder than expected, she was proud of her second- place finish.

Helen Clarke, of Goddards, said: “It’s been great fun. Sadly we didn’t break the record but maybe we’ll try again next year.”

Goddards reopens on Friday and will be open on Wednesdays through to Sunday from 11am until 5pm.

Sweet surrender

York Press: Sean Haggerty

After witnessing several record-breaking attempts I decided to take on the challenge in a bid to succeed where the five contestants at Goddards had failed, writes Sean Haggerty.

My first 20 seconds were spent opening the box and taking my first bite. I soon found that finishing the entire chocolate orange in under the record one minute and 42 seconds was a lot tougher than it sounded.

Despite taking sips of water to help the chocolate go down, by 50 seconds I was starting to struggle and I still had half of the 20 segments left on the table as the clock hit the world record time.

In future I will leave the chocolate challenges to the enthusiasts at Goddards.