Reported in the News Letter on July 18, 1955: Exhausted and in agony, Musical Marie breaks piano record

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Large crowds cheered and sang “For she’s a jolly good fellow” as Mrs Marie Ashton set up a new non-stop piano playing record in Bangor on Saturday night [July 16].

She had played for 133 hours and 40 minutes in an amusement centre in Quay Street, where hundreds of people gathered in the evening to witness the final stages of the marathon.

A number of women in the crowd wept and, as “Musical Marie” passed the record set up by Heinz Art, implored her not to continue any longer.

But she broke the record by 40 minutes and finished with the lively playing of several popular songs in which the crowd, both outside and inside the building, joined.

She concluded with the National Anthem and then sat at the piano, unable to move her hands from the keyboard.

Her wrists and ankles were badly swollen and she had suffered from blinding headaches.

Two men and her trainer supported Mrs Ashton, who weighs 17 stone, as she made her way to a hotel, and police had to control the good-natured crowd, which shouted congratulations and tried to touch her as she passed.