A CITY couple celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary this week have received a congratulatory telegram from the Queen.
John James (Jim) and Doreen Bend, who married on Tuesday 27 January 1953, met in a Northumberland cinema where RAF member Jim’s friend asked him to see whether usherette Doreen would step out with him.
Jim later asked 20-year-old Doreen out himself and the pair have been together ever since.
Now great-grandparents and living in the Shenley Wood retirement village, the couple have family living all over the world - from Milton Keynes, to Scotland and Canada.
Doreen, 82, orginally from Essex, vividly remembers meeting Jim, from Witwell, Derbyshire.
She said: “It was the blue eyes and uniform that did it!”
Despite reluctance from their parents, the couple celebrated Doreen’s 21st birthday as boyfriend and girlfriend, got engaged 6 months later and married 6 months after that in Newcastle.
The couple celebrated their anniversary with family and friends on Sunday.
Doreen revealed the secret to a solid marriage is give and take.
She said: “My grandmother used to say that and until I married I didn’t fully understand, but it is true - you need give and take, a lot of love and patience.”
Jim, 81, formerly of the RAF and a grade one power station engineer, added: “Things have changed but young couples now can get together just as we did, get on and be just as happy.”