Couple celebrate long wedding

WHEN they met as teenagers in London neither could have predicted that seven decades later they would be celebrating a truly remarkable marital milestone.

By Jo Macdonald

WHEN they met as teenagers in London neither could have predicted that seven decades later they would be celebrating a truly remarkable marital milestone.

But the champagne corks have been popping as Gladys and Ronald Wood toast the love and marriage that has remained strong for 65 years.

"I think I was about 19 when we met," recalled Mrs Wood. "It's a long time ago. I'm 90 now.

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"I remember it was in Herne Hill, London, SE24. My sister had a friend living there in a very big house with lots of flats. Ronald lived in the middle flat and that's how we met."

Although she admits she liked him from the very beginning, Mrs Wood initially turn down his offers of a date.

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"We didn't go out for a long time. I refused. I didn't want to go out with him at first. It was quite a few months before I said yes," she remembered.

As the couple started dating love gradually blossomed and three years later the two became engaged.

And on October 3, 1937, at St Matthew's Church, Brixton Hill, London, they married before heading off to Lyme Regis, in Dorset, for a week long honeymoon.

Mr Wood, who is now 87, worked on the railways his entire working life while Mrs Wood was a "mother's help, like a nanny" for the first few years of their marriage.

It was a job that put her in good stead for when the couple started their own family. They had two children, Maureen, who is now 60, and David, who is 58.

And in the past 65 years their family has continued to expand. Mr and Mrs Wood now have three granddaughters, two grandsons, five great grandchildren and sixth on the way.

However, it was when their children married and started their own families, Maureen's in Kent and David's in Suffolk, that Mr and Mrs Wood left London and moved to Penryn Road, in Kesgrave.

Mrs Wood explained: "We moved to Suffolk 21 years ago. We had a very big house in Dulwich so when the children married it was far too big for just the two of us.

"David had moved up here and said how lovely it was and that we would like it. We kept coming down until we found the house we are still living in."

Today the house is filled with flowers and cards, including one from the Queen which came as a lovely surprise to the couple, congratulating them on their anniversary, a celebration they enjoyed with champagne and meals out.

It is a mark of the love Mr and Mrs Wood still feel for each other that they have reached their 65th year of marriage. They are the first to admit they have had their differences over the years but it is clear that they are as happy as ever.

"We have our ups and downs like everyone does and we have our little arguments. Anyone who says they don't is lying," Mrs Wood said.

"However, yes, I can say that we are as happy as we were when we first married," she added.

Events of 1937:

King George VI was crowned.

The Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco was opened.

The Spanish Civil War was being fought.

Neville Chamberlain became Prime Minister.

Ipswich Town had been a professional club for a year – and were playing in the Southern League.

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