‘I don’t think we’ve ever had a serious argument’

John and Betty Rhoades-Brown, from Cowplain, are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.   Picture: Steve Reid
John and Betty Rhoades-Brown, from Cowplain, are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary. Picture: Steve Reid

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Food and clothing were still being rationed when Betty and John Rhoades-Brown tied the knot.

But that didn’t stop this happy couple from enjoying their wedding day to the full.

John and Betty Rhoades-Brown

John and Betty Rhoades-Brown

Betty and John were married on September 29 1951 and even though the Second World War was over, life was still tough for many.

The couple went to the register office in Kingston-upon-Thames and were married in a simple ceremony.

‘Everything was still being rationed and we couldn’t afford much but I’ve never regretted it,’ says Betty, who had just turned 20 when they got married.

‘We walked to the register office and then back again. We did have a wedding cake but we didn’t have anything fancy, not that it mattered.’

Betty and John first met when they were introduced by her best friend Julie.

‘He was quite a handsome young man, very presentable, and we grew to like each other,’ adds Betty.

After the wedding, Betty was given two days off from her job and the pair celebrated with a honeymoon in Ramsgate.

Betty and John have two daughters, Terri and Julie, plus grandchildren Joe, Vicky, Cameron and Tilly.

And as well as celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary, they’ve just marked Betty’s 80th birthday as well.

The couple had a family party last month where instead of presents they asked guests to make a donation to the Macular Society and Open Sight charity. Both have helped partially-sighted John over the years and everyone was very generous, giving the couple £325 to donate.

Betty and John, 82, also celebrated with a holiday to the Isle of Wight. And they were delighted to receive a card of congratulations from the Queen.

‘I don’t think we’ve ever had a serious argument,’ laughs Betty. ‘We’ve always got on all right, we’ve been very happy.’