Love as strong as ever - 70 years on

When Kathleen and Albert Swann were married, Chamberlain was prime minister and Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes had just hit UK cinemas.

When Kathleen and Albert Swann were married, Chamberlain was prime minister and Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes had just hit UK cinemas.

But the loving Suffolk couple, who tied the knot on a snowy day in Norfolk, are still together an amazing 70 years later.

Kathleen, 89, and Albert, 94, celebrated their remarkable milestone at a party at Hurstlea Court near their home in Hurstlea Road, Needham Market, with family and friends.

Mrs Swann said: “He has always been a wonderful husband and I would not have anybody else.

“If I had the chance to go back to the beginning, I would have him again.

“Seventy years is a long while, I think it's a good achievement. We've had a few arguments like everybody else of course, but we are happy.”

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Mr Swann was a farm worker throughout his working life and his wife was employed part-time as a servant before retiring to start a family.

She now cares for her husband, who suffered a stroke four years ago, but she said their love today is as strong as it was the day they met.

She said: “I was only about 15 when I first met him, but it was love at first sight. We met in Harleston in Norfolk.

“We had gone to the pictures but when he saw me standing outside the cinema he said 'We won't go to the film,' and we went for a walk instead.”

The couple, who have one daughter and three sons along with 15 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, were married four years later on Boxing Day in 1938.

Mrs Swann, n�e Matthews, said: “Albert just asked permission from my father. He said 'Well, you can marry my daughter but you don't know your own mind.' My father said I was too young but we have been together all these years.

“It was snowing on the day of the wedding and the vicar said it would have to be at midday because he wanted to go to the Norwich football match!

“I never had any photos from the wedding, of course in those days they were all in black and white. They took one of me but left him out of it. I was so angry!”

The pair have had two cards from the Queen in the past commemorating their long marriage, but this year they missed out as they did not write to the palace about their anniversary.

But Mrs Swann said: “It didn't matter. The important thing is we had a lovely party and my Albert was there to spend it with me.”

Are you about to celebrate a milestone? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to

Back in 1938…

The Niagara Bridge at Niagara Falls, New York collapsed due to an ice jam.

Laszlo Biro patented the first ball point pen in Britain.

The first comic book featuring Superman and the first Beano comic were both published.

On September 30, Neville Chamberlain returned from meeting Hitler in Munich announcing “Peace in our time.”

…The following day Hitler, Time Magazine's Man of the Year, sent his troops into the Sudatenland.