Family lunch marks couple’s 65 years
FRIENDSHIP, companionship and a stern telling off have been the key ingredients for one Guildford couple who are celebrating 65 years of marriage.
Cyril West, 89, met his wife-to-be Jill, named Dorothy Anne, 86, when they were both working at Royal Surrey County Hospital in the original building in Farnham Road.
After their first encounter they got engaged on Jill’s 20th birthday in 1951 and married just over a year later at Milford Church on September 13 1952.
The pair went on to have a trio of sons, John, Peter and their youngest David.
Tragedy, however, struck the family when their son John died aged 45 just a month after their golden wedding anniversary in 2002.
John had developed type 1 diabetes when he was 14 and coped with it for many years but eventually suffered a heart attack.
When asked if the happy couple discovered the secret to wedded bliss, Mr West said: “I would be foolish to say we got on all the time but when we had a row and a few disagreements we just got on with it.
“We had some terrific rows over the years but we are both of the same temperament.
“We didn’t get upset about work, some people let that affect them but we just worked, came home, raised our family and that was that.”
At first the couple learned how to live together in one room before being offered a council home where they have now lived for more than 60 years.
Jill found a job very close to home as a classroom assistant at Pond Meadow School just next door while Cyril worked as a contracts engineer.
They both retired at the same time and enjoyed 26 years of relative freedom.
“We are a little bit surprised,” Mr West said after achieving their latest anniversary milestone.
“I do not think we expected to reach this. We had our diamond wedding anniversary, 60 years, we were delighted with that and this one. My wife is not is not in the best of health, I am in better health, but it is quite an achievement.”
Mr West’s main hobby was football with his love for the sport “blossoming in the 1960s” when he took part in the referee training course and also became involved in the administration of local football.
Having celebrated their golden and diamond anniversaries with a large event, the pair decided to keep things quieter this year.
“Our youngest is up in London, he works on the DLR line. He was born in 1960 and is 57,” added Mr West. “He is coming down here on Wednesday. He is picking us up and picking up our other son who lives in Godalming.
“We are going to the Frensham Pond Hotel for lunch.
“When we had our golden and diamond wedding anniversary we had an event.
“But we both said no to anything really large this year. We have the fondest of memories and it will nice to share that with the family.”
Sean Grogan-Edwards receives his certificate from Rear Admiral John Clink
Cyril and Jill West celebrate 65 years of married life