A Greens Norton couple have sealed their family a place in the Guinness World Record Book for having the most siblings to have celebrated a diamond wedding anniversary in the world.
When Hazel and Bill Howell marked 60 years of marriage in May last year, they became the fifth of Bill’s brothers and sisters to mark the milestone.
To celebrate the achievement, the couple held a family garden party at their village home near Towcester.
Their niece, Kath Dale, contacted Guinness World Records and last month received confirmation that they were the only family in the world to have as many as five sibling couples who had been married for more than 60 years.
The Howell family moved to Northamptonshire from London during the Second World War and three of the couples still live in the county.
Hazel and Bill’s daughter, Julie Reece, from West Hunsbury said: “Kath did a brilliant job and we are all indebted to her.
“All the families are very happy and excited about the achievement and recognition.
“My brother, Dave and his wife, Fran, who are on holiday in Australia at the moment, actually presented the Guinness World Records certificate to my Uncle John and Aunt Sylvia, who live in Sydney.”
“It has also served as a lovely tribute for Aunt Gwendoline and Aunt Doris who have, sadly, since become widows.”
Hazel and Bill have lived and worked in the area for many years; Bill as managing director at Marconi electronics in Towcester and Hazel as a housewife following the birth of their two children.
Julie said: “They are wonderful parents and grandparents to my daughters and have always been involved in community life.
“Dad is almost 84 and still serves on the village hall committee.
“For many years they both ran the the village football team which, in those days, involved mum washing and ironing all the teams’ shirts.”
The couple are now enjoying their next decade of married life organising a weekly short mat bowls club and are recognised local crossword champions.
Bill’s siblings include Gwendoline, who was married to Douglas Bennett (deceased) for 61 years; Doris who was married to Donald Street (deceased) for 66 years; John who has been married to Sylvia Winter for 61 years; and Stanley, who has been married to Margaret Sharpe for 65 years.