On 10th November 1951 Sir Hugh Beaver,Managing Director of the Guinness Brewery,was out with a shooting party in North Slob,by the river Slaney in CountyWexford,Irland.After missing a shot at a Golden Plover,he began arguing with friends,about the fastest game bird in Europe,was it the Golden Plover or the Red Grouse (actually it is the plover). Later that evening at Castlebridge House,searching for the answer in numerous reference books,he realised that it was impossible to confirm which was the fastest game bird.Beaver knew that there must be thousands of other questions debated nightly in pubs and bars throughout the world,and that there was no definitive reference book in which to find the answers.He then had the inspiration for a Guinness promotion,based on the idea of settling pub arguments.

In 1954 he invited twins Norris and Ross McWirter,to compile a book of facts and figures,with which to settle arguments.He realised that a book that could supply the answers to all types of questions,might prove successful.He commissioned the brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter,who had been running a successful facts and figures agency in London,to compile what became known as "The Guinness Book of Records." In August 1954 a thousand copies were printed as a free giveaway to promote Guinness in pubs and bars."It was never supposed to be a money maker, it was just a marketing giveaway"said Beaver.The first 197 page edition was printed on 27th August 1955, and immediately went to the British best seller list by Christmas of that year.The following year it was launched in the USA, where 70,000 copies were sold.

The book's surprise sales figures caused many further editions to be printed,eventually one revision per year was published.These revisions were published in September / October, in time for Christmas.Both the McWhirter brothers continued to compile the book for many years,until Ross McWhirter was assassinated by the Provisional Irish Republican Army in 1975.

The Guinness book of World Records is full of the wackiest things that you can imagine,and some that you would never have believes were humanely possible.The recent editions have included everything from weightlifting,to the longest egg tossing distance,and for the longest time spent playing Grand Theft Auto IV.Or the number of hot dogs that can be consumed in ten minutes.Although eating and alcohol consumption entries are no longer accepted,for the possible fear of litigation.Other records,such as sword swallowing and rally driving (on public roads) were also discontinued as the current holders had performed beyond what was considered safe human tolerance levels.As an example of how times have changed in the last 60 years, unfettered gluttony records are no longer accepted.

Hevest pets will also no longer be considered.This is to ensure that their owners do not over feed their pets just to get into the book.Other records that have undergone changes include, Round- the- world driving records,which are now examined for fuel economy,and not speed.

In a statement, Laura Dekker,the Dutch sailor said "Guinness World Records does not sanction, endorse,or encourage attempts by people under the age of 16 for any record attempt.This includes youngest person to circumnavigate the world by any form of transportation". Laura Dekker was 15 years old when she set sail in January 2011 to break the record for the youngest person to sail around the world.

The Guinness Book of World Records has thrived on the weird and wonderful,and has been a household favourite for the past 60 years.Our continued fascination with strange, bizarre, and peculiar record breaking facts has been passed down through the generations and inspired others to attempt extraordinary feats.

First you have to break a record and then that you can keep hold of it long enough to make it into the next edition.While some people attempt what at first glance appears to be the impossible just to get into the book,others are just born to make it by default.Take Jane"Ginny"Burford,at 7ft 9in(2.4m) she was Britain's tallest woman.Seven inches taller, than the late Richard Kiel,the actor who played Jaws,in the James Bond movies,The spy who loved me and Moonraker,who died this week aged 73.Ginny was believed to have been buried in the graveyard of St Michael & All Angles in Field Lane, Bartley Green,Birmingham,West Midlands Except that the Guinness book of Records stated that her skeleton was in a medical museum at the University of Birmingham.After a request from her family,Jane's remains were released by the university in 2005.A second private funeral was held for her at St Michael's.On an undisclosed date and with no headstone.

Here are few more examples of how times have changed over the past 60 years since the book was first published.The tallest building, listed in the 1955 Guinness Book of Records was the Empire State Building in New York, standing at 1, 472,(443m) now more accurately measured to be 1,453 ft. to the tip.The currant tallest building is the Burj Khalifa,in Dubai,which stands at 2,722ft.(829.8m).

In 1951 the highest football transfer fee was paid for 27 year old Swedish International Hans Jeppson,who transferred from Napoli to Genoese,for a record fee of 105,000,000 lira (£60,375 or 75,468.75 euros) the equivalent today would be £1.51 million.The Guinness Book Of Records lists the U.K transfer record for 1955 as £34,000(42.500euros)which today would be worth £931,800(1.2500euros).This was paid to inside forward Jackie Sewell on his transfer in March 1951,from Nott's County to Sheffield Wednesday.In contrast to this,in 2013 Garth Bale transferred from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid for £85.3 million.Prior to this the highest transfer fee quoted for a British player was£15 million for Alan Shearer,who moved from Blackburn Rovers to Newcastle United in July 29th 1996.

In the fastest category, six men share the record for the fastest 100m in 1955,each running it in 10.2 seconds.James Cleavland,and Jessie Owens from the U.S.A. in 1936,Harold Davis(USA) in 1941,Lloyd Barrington LaBeach(Panama) in 1948,Henry Norwood Ewell(USA)1948,Emmanuel McDonald Baily(Trinidad)1951,and Heinz Futterer(Germany)in 1954.The record for the fastest 100m is currently held by Usain Bolt (Jamaica) who ran it at 9.58 seconds on August 16, 2009.

The oldest person category lists Jeanne Louise Clément a French woman, who died on August 4th 1997 at the age of 122 years and 164 days The oldest man ever was Jiroemon Kimura of Japan, who died on June 12th2013 aged 116years and 55 days.The oldest living person is currently Misao Akowa of Japan who was 116 years and 151 days as of August 2014.

In 2008,Guinness World Records released its gamer's edition,in association with Twin Galaxies. The Gamer's Edition contains 258 pages,with over 1,236 video games related world records,and four interviews including one with Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day.Another spin off publication The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and Albums, was published from 2004 until 2008.At which time it was effectively replaced by the Virgin Book of British Hit Singles,published from 2008 onwards. The Guinness Book OF World Records itself holds the world record, for the bestselling copyrighted book of all time.It is also the most frequently stolen book from public libraries in the United States.