Platinum wedding couple Cliff and Betty renew vows after 70 years of love

Cliff and Betty Tooke are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

Cliff and Betty Tooke are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

Ipswich couple Cliff and Betty Tooke are celebrating an amazing 70 years of marriage - by walking down the aisle all over again.

The couple, who live in East Ipswich, got married at St Matthew's Church on December 22, 1951.

And exactly 70 years on, the platinum wedding couple are set to renew their vows at the same church, watched by close family and friends.

Cliff and Betty Tooke, who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary, at their home in Ipswich

Cliff and Betty Tooke, who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary, at their home in Ipswich - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

This will be followed by a small celebration at their home and a toast to their seven decades together.

So what's the secret of their long happy marriage? Cliff, aged 90, said simply: "Give and take."

And Betty, 89, said: "It doesn't matter what sort of day we've had, when we go to bed we say 'Goodnight, I love you.' We say that every night."

The rector, the Rev Canon Nick Atkins, is conducting the service, and Betty said: "He said he has never done a 70th wedding anniversary before."

Photos of Cliff and Betty Tooke's wedding on December 22, 1951

Photos of Cliff and Betty Tooke's wedding on December 22, 1951 - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

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The couple have lived and worked in Ipswich all their lives. When they first met, they were both only 15 - but it was far from being love at first sight.

"We met in Christchurch Park, but I didn't like him then," Betty recalled.

Three years later, all that changed, when they were both 18. After meeting up again, they went on a date to see a film starring Alan Ladd at the Ipswich Odeon.

They have two children, son Glenn and daughter Colette, three grandsons and one great-granddaughter.

"We have got a very good family and they are always here to help us. We have had lovely times together," Betty said.  

Cliff and Betty Tooke, of Ipswich, who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

Cliff and Betty Tooke, of Ipswich, who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

Cliff worked as a carpenter throughout his career, after starting at 14, and mainly worked on house building sites.

Betty had a lot of different jobs over the years. She said she "started off by making little boys' trousers", then worked for the printers WS Cowell, as a machine minder.

After that she worked at the haberdashery department at Ipswich Co-op in Carr Street and other shops, and then in the linen room at Ipswich Hospital and St Clement's Hospital.

Cliff has supported Ipswich Town over the years, as well as enjoying fishing and carpet bowls, while Betty was a member of Sidegate Lane and Chatsworth Ladies' Clubs. 

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