Secret to staying married for 70 years? ... A few friendly arguments

Mary and Jim White
Mary and Jim White

A couple who met on a bus during the Second World War ended up going for a fish and chip supper - and love soon blossomed.

Now the pair - Mary and Jim White, of Elm Grove, Horsham - are set to celebrate their SEVENTIETH wedding anniversary.

But, 91-year-old Mary said this week that there was ‘no big secret’ to a long and happy marriage.

“It’s a long time to be together but we don’t really row. We have a little argument sometimes.

“I tell him off and he tells me off. He thinks one thing and I think another.”

Jim, 95, was on leave from the RAF when he and Mary had their first fateful meeting on board a bus from Burnley to Bacup, Lancashire, in 1943. “We got chatting,” said Mary. “When we got to Bacup we went for fish and chips and Jim walked me home - almost two miles.”

The couple courted for four years. “My dad wouldn’t let me get married until I was 21,” said Mary, “and we got married a week after my 21st birthday.”

The couple tied the knot at St John’s Church in Bacup, Lancashire, on March 29 1947.

Jim had served much of his time during the war in Hong Kong with best friend George Dendy and when Jim and Mary married, the couple honeymooned at George’s family home in Horsham.

After the war Jim worked in the textile industry in Lancashire and Mary worked as a sewing machinist.

But an advertisement in the County Times - sent to the couple by George’s wife - led to them returning to Horsham in 1964 where they set up home with their two boys Barry and Peter.

The ad in the County Times was for staff to join Christ’s Hospital. And Mary and Jim ended up working at the school’s infirmary for more than 23 years until they retired.

Mary was a housekeeper there and Jim worked as a porter.

The happy couple are to celebrate their milestone 70th anniversary with a special outing with friends followed by an afternoon tea party for around 24 close family and friends at their home.

As well as their sons Barry, 65, and Peter, 61, Jim and Mary have grandson Mark and great grandson Benjamin, three, who will all be joining in the celebrations.