‘The only other person I know who has reached 70 years is the Queen’ - South Shields couple still very much in love as they celebrate platinum wedding anniversary

A South Shields couple who will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Tuesday, August 27 say a sense of humour and never going to bed on an argument are the secret to a long and happy marriage.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 6:00 am
Ron and Mary French celebrate Platinum wedding anniversary

Mary French was 19 when she met Ron, then 24, at a wedding where he was best man on August 7, 1948.

Despite trying to put him off at the time, Mary said Ron, who lived in Herrington Burn in Houghton and worked as a miner at Herrington pit, was determined to come to South Shields to meet her.

It was love at first sight for Ron, now 95, but for Mary it was more of a slow burner.

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Ron and Mary French on their wedding day on August 27, 1949

“I liked him but I didn’t feel as if I was going to marry him,” said Mary, now 89. “As he started to find his feet in South Shields things changed and I realised I did love him.

“He lived alone and I lived with my dad, so we decided to make a home together.”

Just over a year later, on August 27, 1949 the couple were married, with a modest reception at Tyne Dock.

“It was just after the war but things were still rationed, so I had to borrow a dress and veil, and food had to be limited,” said Mary

Ron and Mary French with bridesmaids and groomsmen on their wedding day on August 27, 1949

The couple, who have now lived in Whiteleas, South Shields for 27 years, went on to have two children, Marylin, 68 and Robin, 62, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

They’ve never been abroad but have enjoyed many family holidays in Scotland over the years.

"Like everyone, we have ups and downs," said Mary, a former Mayoress of South Tyneside, on the secret to a happy marriage.

"He has a wonderful sense of humour, I think that helps.

“We love each other and always forgive each other, and Ron will never go to bed without coming and making up if we have had a row."

They are set to celebrate with family and friends at the Little Haven hotel in South Shields.

“You just take one day at a time,” Mary added.

“The only other person I know who has reached 70 years is the Queen.”