Eyes down for a full house as cou­ple mark 71st an­niver­sary

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others - By Sam Wil­liams

A cou­ple who play to­gether stay to­gether.

This is the case for Bill and Alma Jacobs, from Ken­ning­ton, who are in their 71st year of mar­riage, hav­ing cel­e­brated their plat­inum an­niver­sary in De­cem­ber 2015.

Their last­ing love has led to them win­ning a Valen­tine’s Day com­pe­ti­tion held at Mecca, which sought to find the com­pany’s long­est mar­ried cus­tomers.

Mr and Mrs Jacobs, who play at the town cen­tre bingo venue sev­eral times a week, were the long­est mar­ried cou­ple who en­tered in Ash­ford.

Mrs Jacobs said: “We are de­lighted to have won the com­pe­ti­tion and hope our story proves to any young cou­ples just start­ing out that it is pos­si­ble to have a long and happy mar­riage!”

The pair met at a dance in Lon­don when she was 15 and he was 21, and mar­ried shortly af­ter Alma’s 16th birth­day on De­cem­ber 22, 1945 at Brix­ton reg­is­ter of­fice.

They moved to Ash­ford in 1966 with their two daugh­ters, with Alma and Bill Jacobs won a Valen­tine’s Day com­pe­ti­tion at Mecca; the cou­ple on their wed­ding day Bill go­ing on to work for Houch­ins, then as an en­gi­neer at the Rail­way Works and also at the Lit­tle Chart Pa­per Mill.

Af­ter a short stint at the Ken­tish Ex­press as a tele­phone op­er­a­tor Alma trained as a nurse and worked at the old Ash­ford Hos­pi­tal be­fore mov­ing to the Wil­liam Har­vey’s A&E depart­ment. They are both now re­tired. Mrs Jacobs, who was known as nurse Jakey, added: “Mar­riage is very dif­fer­ent now than when we were young.

“For starters we were mar­ried just a month af­ter meet­ing each other.

“Peo­ple al­ways ask me what the se­cret is to a long and happy mar­riage and I al­ways give the same ad­vice – never, and I mean never, go to sleep af­ter a cross word.”

To con­grat­u­late the cou­ple, Mecca in­vited them to the club for a meal for two ac­com­pa­nied by an evening play­ing bingo, as well as a bou­quet, cham­pagne and a box of choco­lates. Lucy Teakle, gen­eral man­ager at Mecca Ash­ford, said: “It’s fan­tas­tic to see how many long and hap­pily mar­ried cou­ples we have at­tend­ing Mecca.

“Bill and Alma’s story is par­tic­u­larly close to our hearts as they’re like part of the fam­ily now as they’ve both been com­ing to the Mecca Ash­ford club since it first opened and have made many friends here, amongst col­leagues and cus­tomers alike.

“It’s good to see that the pair still love each other as much now as the day they met back in 1945. Cheers to Bill and Alma!”

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