Plenty of ban­ter keeps mar­riage long and happy

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - 65th Wedding Anniversary - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

Give and take might be the se­cret to a 65-year long and happy mar­riage.

This is ac­cord­ing to Frank and Gwen May, who cel­e­brated the mile­stone an­niver­sary yesterday (Wed­nes­day).

The cou­ple mar­ried at St Mary The Vir­gin Church, in Bent­ley Road, Willes­bor­ough, on Septem­ber 23, in 1950.

They had met two years ear­lier on a coach trip, and their first date was a trip to the cin­ema.

Asked what the key to a strong mar­riage is, Mrs May, 85, re­sponded: “Give and take.”

Mr May, now 87, added: “When we got mar­ried, peo­ple didn’t get di­vorced.”

As well as liv­ing as man and wife for more than six decades, the cou­ple have also worked to­gether.

They bought a gen­eral store from a Mr Coul­dray in Os­borne Road, Willes­bor­ough, in 1956.

They re­named it Mays Stores, and ran it for 16 years, selling just about ev­ery­thing you could ever need.

Even­tu­ally, they re­alised they could make more money by go­ing back to work­ing for oth­ers, and Mr May, a for­mer soldier who served in both Malaya and Hong Kong, took a job at Batch­e­lors, and Mrs May took up an of­fice po­si­tion. They con­verted the shop into a home, where they still live to­day.

Mr and Mrs May are the par­ents of Sue, who was born in 1954, and grand­par­ents to Keith, 38, and Ian, 36.

Sue, 61, said of her par­ents: “They are de­voted to each other and look af­ter each other.

“For a mar­riage to last that long is a mir­a­cle re­ally.

“They are a nice cou­ple, friendly and out­go­ing. They have ban­ter to­gether.

“That is what makes a mar­riage work, when you can get along.”

The fam­ily will celebrate the an­niver­sary with a meal at the Black Lion in Ap­ple­dore at the week­end.

Daugh­ter Sue has also ar­ranged for a tele­gram from the Queen, which will be their sec­ond as they also got one on their 60th an­niver­sary.

Pic­ture: Alan Langley FM3988024

Frank and Gwen May are cel­e­brat­ing their 65th wed­ding an­niver­sary

Left, one of Frank and Gwen’s wed­ding pho­to­graphs which has been hand coloured

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