Keen travellers are ‘still laughing’ as they celebrate 70 years of marriage

PETERSFIELD pair celebrating 70 years of marriage say the key is to ‘always see the funny side of life.’

By Elsa Waterfield
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 1:25 pm

Audrey, 91, and Charles Coombs, 92, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on March 22, with a meal at the Nest Pub in Petersfield, alongside their son Andrew and daughter-in-law Jean.

‘It was quiet but lovely, we had a bit of a lunch on the day and a party on Sunday too - it was nice,’ says Audrey.

The couple marked the occasion with not one, but two celebrations with their nearest and dearest, but they insist they’re relationship feels no different to 70 years ago.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Audrey and Charles Coombs celebrate 70 years of marriage. Credit: Andrew Coombs

‘I don’t feel any different, we’ve got grey hair and we can't get about like we used to, but we’re with it,’ says Audrey.

‘We’re lucky, very lucky.’

The couple have two sons David, who has lived in Spain for the past 18 years, and Andrew, from Southsea, who saw his parents on the day and organised the plans.

‘We’ve always enjoyed ourselves, it's no good being miserable, we always see the funny side of life, always laughing,’ says Audrey.

Audrey and Charles Coombs celebrate 70 years of marriage. Credit: Andrew Coombs

The pair first met in the bakery where Charles worked in West Liss and were married two years later at the ages of 21 and 22.

‘We met and that was it. He’s just been good to me, we’re partners and do everything together, we like the same things,’ says former office-worker Audrey.

‘She’s looked after me for more than 70 years, and always cooked me dinner,’ adds Charles.

Read More

Read More
Celebrating a 'powerful' former war 'correspondent' on her 99th birthday
Audrey and Charles Coombs celebrate 70 years of marriage. Credit: Andrew Coombs

They were married in 1952 at Rogate Church, Petersfield, just a short walk away from their house.

‘We lived opposite the church, so I walked over to get married and my father gave me away,’ says Audrey.

Audrey and Charles, who were engaged a year after they met, say in their day it was uncommon to celebrate ‘like you do now,’ particularly going abroad for a honeymoon, they spent their own in Hove, Brighton.

‘The day we got married was a beautiful warm sunny day, then a week later when we came back from our honeymoon, it was thick snow,’ says Audrey.

Audrey and Charles Coombs celebrate 70 years of marriage. Credit: Andrew Coombs

‘The weather was different those days to what it is now,’ she adds.

Son Andrew also organised for the arrival of a letter from the Queen on the day of his parents' platinum anniversary, which they say was a ‘lovely surprise’.

In their younger years, the couple were avid travellers and often toured Europe via coach trips or by car.

Audrey said: ‘We used to go on coach holidays to Switzerland, Austria, Germany and we drove over Scotland. We just love Scotland - we used to walk a lot, it’s a beautiful country.’

Despite their love for travel, the couple never saw home anywhere other than Petersfield.

‘We can say that we’ve lived in Petersfield all our lives really, although we love going on holidays, we were always happy to come back home,’ says Audrey.

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, with 70 per cent fewer adverts for less than 20p a day.