Double golden celebration for family

PLENTY of talking and fewer visits to nightclubs is the secret of 100 years of marriage - according to two brothers who today celebrate their golden anniversaries with the two sisters they wed back in 1958.

PLENTY of talking and fewer visits to nightclubs is the secret of 100 years of marriage - according to two brothers who today celebrate their golden anniversaries with the two sisters they wed back in 1958.

Arthur and Kathleen and Derek and Elizabeth Britton have between them notched up a century of marriage and have a word of advice or two for the modern generation.

“It's plenty of talking and less nightclubs and sorting out your problems, that's the secret,” said Arthur, 70. “The less money you have got the better, people are too greedy and that can be your ruination.

“It's also about being there for each other through good and tough times. My wife has been ill for seven years now and I do all the cooking and care for her. We have a bond. I have packed my suitcase many times, but we always sorted things out.”

Derek, 74, who with his brother was cracking jokes, said: “It's all about give and take, it really is, and the making up is fun.

“You have to work hard at a marriage and we enjoy it. We have never been rich, but money is not everything, and we have something far more precious than money.”

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The brothers, who both worked as farm labourers, were out on the town at one of their locals in West Bergholt when they met the two sisters, Kathleen and Elizabeth Kettle who were also out for a night during November 1956.

The four hit it off and started courting together, going out in Derek's car, enjoying watching the men play football, going to dart matches together.

As love blossomed for all concerned they decided to get married in a double wedding, at St Mary's old church in West Bergholt.

The event attracted a huge crowd of well-wishers at the time and made the local press then too, which revealed that Mrs Derek Britton's going away costume was a printed nylon dress and a Royal blue coat with black accessories and her sister's was a red dress and blue coat, also with accessories.

After the wedding Derek and his new wife, now 69, went on honeymoon to London and Arthur and his wife, now 67, to Folkestone.

Through the years they would have a special bond because of the double wedding which brought them even closer and would continue to meet up for family occasions.

Derek and his wife, who live in Coggeshall, now have two children and three grandchildren and Arthur and his sweetheart who live in Haughley near Stowmarket, six children, 20 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Now, for their golden wedding anniversaries, they met up again to reminisce, look through albums and are planning family parties.