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Eileen and Keith Jones, of Kirkbymoorside, celebrate 50th wedding anniversary
A COUPLE who met as teenagers have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.
Keith and Eileen Jones, of Kirkbymoorside, met in a supermarket when Eileen was 14 and Keith was 16 and a trainee provisions manager.
Two years later, on December 29, 1962, they were the youngest couple to marry in All Saints Church, Orpington, Kent.
Keith said that their parents did not approve and said they should postpone plans of marriage for a few years until they were a little older and wiser.
“But deep down they knew that if they had not given permission, as we were both headstrong, we would have run away to Gretna Green,” he said.
“1962 was one of the worst winters on record. It snowed heavily on Boxing Day and carried on through to March 1963.
“We had no home but were given a bedroom rent free in my parents council house.”
Keith said that after accidentally throwing his full wage packet on the fire, he had to borrow £5 from his father to use as their honeymoon spending money.
“One the way back from the honeymoon, our three-wheeled Isetta bubble car skidded and overturned on a patch of ice, ending up on its roof,” he said.
“We were trapped for 30 minutes, upside down with petrol dripping onto the hot engine.
“We thought the car was going to explode any second and our life together would be over before it began.”
Keith said that despite having no home, no transport, no job, no money or prospects for the future, the couple went on to form a thriving business, writing, publishing and marketing business courses, selling them in 38 countries throughout the world.
When they retired in 2003, they sold the business to a former student who still runs it.
The couple also ran the famous Scarborough Chess Congress for 31 years and made it the second largest chess event in Europe attracting of 300 players and grand masters each year.
On retirement they moved to Kirkbymoorside and took up flat green bowls. Five years ago they were voted in as treasurer and general secretary of the Kirkbymoorside Outdoor Bowling Club, positions they still hold.
Eileen jointly started a local knitting group and a video recording of the group can be seen on the Kirkbymoorside web page under the heading Knitter Natter. The ladies make woollen blankets to send to Romanian children’s homes and hospitals.
The couple have two sons and four grandchildren. The youngest, who is a Scarborough businessman, is treating them to a two-week cruise on the world’s largest passenger liner, The Independence of the Seas, with their own balconied state room.
Keith said: “This will be the honeymoon we never really had, as five days in self-catering accommodation in Bournemouth in the middle of winter was no joke.
“All-in-all, despite a disastrous start to married life, we would not change a single day with anyone.
“If you have a deep-seated love for each other and a determination to succeed in life, anyone can find true happiness, and we certainly have. Roll on the next 50 years.”