One of Britain’s longest married couples, who met when they were teenagers, have just celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary.
Beryl and Ron Golightly, 98 and 100 respectively, married in their hometown of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, in 1941 while he was on leave from the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War.
The couple first met when Beryl was 14 and Ron was 16 and one of his friends wolf-whistled at her group as they passed each other in the street.
"I just knew as soon as I saw him I was going to marry him,” said Beryl. “I was 14 and Ron was 16, it was very much love at first sight.
“A couple of days later we spoke again and went for a walk, we were more or less a couple straight away.
“I thought he had whistled at me and I just fell in love with his cheeky grin straight away.”
The couple had to apply for a special marriage licence because Ron’s leave was cancelled twice, and their wedding was so impromptu they had no photographer, and asked a passer-by in the street to be the best man.
“We got married when I was 18 in 1941,” said Beryl. “I don’t know if he even proposed, we just spoke about the time in the future when we were married.
“There was no great romantic proposal, he definitely wasn’t down on one knee. We just started planning a wedding.”
Beryl, a former shop assistant, and Ron, a former HGV driver, have two daughters, Margaret and Sue, six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandson.
The couple celebrated their 80th anniversary on 8 January with an Oak Wedding Anniversary card from the Queen.
The card is the fourth they have received from the royal household, after being sent cards for their 70th and 75th anniversaries and Ron’s 100th birthday. He once stood on sentry duty outside Buckingham Palace.
Asked about the secret to a long and happy marriage, Beryl said: “Tell me a couple who haven’t had rows, but we always resolved the arguments.
“We would talk the problems out, I think that is the key. You need to communicate and talk to each other. I don’t think enough people talk to each other these days.
“We fell in love very young and we are still in love now.”
Their daughter, Sue Johnson, 75, said the family is very close and it was sad they could not celebrate the couple’s anniversary together because of coronavirus restrictions.
She added: “They were in love then and they’re still in love now, it never changed and that’s why they’re still going strong.”
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