Contest to remember

The world memory championships opened yesterday at Simpson's-in-the-Strand, the London restaurant. Among other tests, contestants, aged 16 to 50, were required to memorise, with punctuation, a specially written 40-line poem by Ted Hughes. Leading at the half-way stage was Dominic O'Brien, current champion, who broke his previous record by recalling the first 142 random digits from a list of 300 after they had been spoken once.

(Photograph omitted)