Minster couple and family bid for Guinness Book of Records title with combined 200 years of marriage

Robert Heath pictured with wife Gwen

Minster couple Gwen and Robert Heath are hoping to enter the Guinness Book of Records, along with daughter and son-in-law Jacqueline and Chuck Smith, son and daughter-in-law Martyn and Chris Heath and granddaughter and husband Deana Heath and Gene Terry, after accumulating 200 years of marriage between them.

War veteran Robert, 98 next week, and former WI member Gwen, 95, have been married for 77 years. Chuck and Jacqueline celebrated 50=years of marriage on December 31, Martyn and Chris also celebrated their 50th anniversary last month and Deana and Gene celebrated 23 years on December 30 – making 200 years of married life in three generations of the same family.

Chuck, who lives in Mexico with Jacqueline, has contacted the Guinness team and is now making an application for a new ‘families’ category record.

Chuck and Jackie Smith and Martyn and Chris Heath married for 100 years between them

The 70-year-old said: “The Guinness Book of Records has not got a category for this so I need to send in the details for a ‘families’ total. Eight or nine months ago I realised coming up to the end of the year we would have this marriage total so I sent the email to them to say is this a record. Now I just have to send the application in.”

Chuck and Jacqueline are in the UK to talk to various WI groups, including Minster, about their production of calendars based on the original Ladies of Rylstone nude WI one which inspired the film Calendar Girl.

Chuck and Jacqueline have produced eight calendars using models healing from traumas of rape, incest, domestic violence, self body-image issues, lifetime mental abuse, and more. The tasteful shots feature women in their 60s to 80s.

Gwen and Robert with family

Chuck is also writing two books about the calendar project to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the release of the Ladies of Rylstone calendar.

Chuck said: “The first one is an overview of our five year project and the second is the story of how we started with no money and me becoming a photographer, inspired by the movie.”

Chuck and Jacqueline are due to meet the members of the Minster WI on Tuesday.