Avid Guinness World Records collector Martyn Tovey, has been given the ultimate Christmas present this year after being awarded two official records for the ‘Largest collection of Guinness World Records Memorabilia’ and ‘Largest Collection of Guinness World Records Annuals’.
The 57-year-old from Somerset, UK, owns over 2,164 unique Guinness World Records items of memorabilia and over 353 unique Annuals including rare first editions signed by both Norris and Ross McWhirter.
The diverse collection started after Martyn won the 1968 Guinness Book of Records during a school competition, with his mother continuing to buy him an annual every Christmas since.
Speaking of his official recognition by Guinness World Records, Martyn said "It has taken many years - and a great deal of effort - to put my collection together, and to be recognised by Guinness World Records in this way is absolutely fantastic."
Martyn has proved to be an expert on Guinness World Records and even advised Norris McWhirter of a mistake in the 1971 edition of the annual, after it printed two different ages for J B Salling in the list of oldest people and longest surviving soldier. Norris McWhirter responded by letter, thanking him and explaining that the different publishing times of the front and back of the book resulted in the confusion.
In preparing for the 60th Anniversary celebrations Guinness World Records have found Martyn to be a wealth of knowledge and have often called upon him to check historical facts.
The extensive collection varies from the weird to the wonderful, with memorabilia including board games, spoons, cartoon engraved glasses and a 1960 Edition containing Norris McWhirter’s own handwritten corrections.
Tracking down the early books in the 1980’s was a labour of love but the advent of the internet uncovered a whole new world of memorabilia – much to his wife’s despair.
Martyn’s record breaking books and memorabilia used to adorn the shelves and fill cupboards – but after downsizing his house his beloved collection is safely wrapped up in storage with just his most loved books by his side.
However some books still elude him, with the special edition books printed for the directors of Guinness Superlatives 1972-75 remaining something of a holy grail for Martyn.
Speaking of Martyn’s collection Editor in Chief Craig Glenday said ‘We’ve been monitoring record-breaking collections for years, and we cover everything from airline boarding passes to zebras. But it wasn’t until this year, when we met Martyn, that we realised we should open a category for the largest collection of Guinness World Records books! Such is Martin’s dedication to documenting our history that his incredible collection outstrips even the archive here at Guinness World Records!’
Martyn maintains a website full of trivia and useful information for collectors of Guinness World Records annuals and memorabilia. You check it out at http://guinness.book-of-records.info.