Diamond couples are shining examples

IT WASN T love at first sight but a couple are still going strong after 60 years together. George, 83, and Rita Clark, 78, of Hillside Park, in Baldock, are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary tomorrow (Friday). The couple met at a social club d

IT WASN'T love at first sight but a couple are still going strong after 60 years together.

George, 83, and Rita Clark, 78, of Hillside Park, in Baldock, are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary tomorrow (Friday).

The couple met at a social club dance seven months before getting married at St Saviour's Church in Forest Hill, London.

Rita said: "George offered me a drink but I refused at first. But I did the quickstep and was a bit puffed out so I asked if the drink was still on and it was.

"I didn't like him at first. He didn't interest me but then we got talking and got to know each other we were inseparable.

"But I never imagined we would be married for six decades. When we first got married someone turned round and said it wouldn't last long but we have been very lucky."

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The couple lived with Rita's mother for the first six years of their marriage and just six months after taking their vows, Rita fell pregnant with their first child, Linda.

During the years that followed they had two more children, Teresa, 53, and John who passed away in 1997 at the age of 47.

However, it was not until 1987 that they moved to Baldock.

Rita said: "We look back at so many fond memories. We have enjoyed just being together and we are still as loving and don't want anybody else. We are happy with each other's company.

"I think the secret to a happy marriage is loving each other and compatibility. We just got lucky."

Daughter Linda Foster-Bartlett, 59, said: "It's amazing that they've reached this landmark because it's more or less unheard of nowadays."

The proud couple will be celebrating their anniversary with family and friends at St Andrew's Rooms at St Andrew's Church, in Biggleswade on Saturday.

* A COUPLE who have dedicated six decades to one another relived some happy memories at the weekend.

Ed, 86, and Joan Smith, 87, of Dunlin, Letchworth GC, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary last Thursday and marked the occasion at the Wilbury in the town - the venue where they held their wedding reception 60 years ago.

The couple met while working at printing works, St Christopher Press, in the late 1930s, but when Ed went into the RAF at the beginning of World War II, their only method of communication was through writing to one another.

However, when he returned to the printing works in 1946 their relationship blossomed and they were married at St Michael's Church, which used to be situated opposite Howard Park, two years later.

The couple who have two children - Jill, 51 and Robert, 55 - say the key to a long and happy marriage is "give and take".

Ed, who was a member of Henlow Cricket Club for 40 years, joked: "I took more and she gave!

"While she looked after the children I went off and played sport - she put up with it very well.

"She even used to do the cricket teas but refused to get involved with making the bowls teas."

Although Ed still enjoys playing bowls, he now spends the majority of his time being Joan's full-time carer because she has Alzheimer's.

He said: "I didn't know I could cook and open packets until I started caring for Joan.

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