AN ELDERLY Shoreham couple will be giving their marriage the platinum seal of approval as they get ready to celebrate 70 years of wedded bliss.
The landmark event will bring together their family for the day on May 12.
I still love my wife as much as when I first locked onto her eyes at the skating rink in 1942Carl Haydon
John ‘Carl’ Haydon, of Kingston Broadway, said the key to his successful marriage with his wife Peggy was trust.
“You’ve got to trust each other and support each other,” said 92-year-old John.
“I still love my wife as much as when I first locked onto her eyes at the skating rink in 1942.”
It was at this time Carl joined the Navy during the Second World War.
“I had my initial training up in Skegness and afterwards I came to do a course in Brighton, and as sailors we went to the skater rink.
“And there she was, Sonja Henie – that is what I called her. She had a friend on each arm, gliding around.”
Peggy, who lived in Southwick at the time, also remembers the day clearly.
She said: “When the sailors were skating they nearly knocked us over, but he asked me out for another evening and it went on from there.”
In 1947 the couple got married at Saint Michael and All Angels Church in Southwick and moved to the Midlands where Carl originally hailed from.
But in 1952 they decided to migrate back down south, to Shoreham, to start a family.
“We have been in this house for 63 years now,” said Carl.
“We were the first people to move in on the road and we had the first choice of house.”
After the Navy, Carl became a manufacturer’s agent up until retirement almost 30 years ago,
Peggy believes the real secret to their long-lasting marriage is no conflict.
The 91-year-old said: “We get on very well still and love each other – we never have rows or arguments.”
The couple are now proud grandparents with four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Susan Ewins, Carl and Peggy’s daughter who lives in East Grinstead, said she was absolutely delighted about their anniversary.
“My dad has prostate cancer, but he keeps going and they still manage to get out,” said Susan.
“He wanted to get to his 90th birthday and he did, so their next goal was to get to get to their 70th anniversary.
“His philosophy in life is ‘take it as it comes’. Whatever life throws at them they just get on and deal with it.
“They have been amazing parents.”
The couple will be having a quiet celebration with family at the West Hove Golf Club, where Carl was once captain.