Platinum pair share secrets of happy marriage

Beryl and Arthur Burton of Old Drive Polegate, who celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on 5th August 2015.
Beryl and Arthur Burton of Old Drive Polegate, who celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on 5th August 2015.

A married couple who have shared an astounding seventy years of life together celebrated their platinum anniversary this week.

Beryl and Arthur Burton, of Old Drive, Polegate, met during World War Two and married on 5 August 1945 (pictured).

The pair, now both in their nineties, are as close as they ever have been, and spend their evenings listening to classical music.

“They knew as soon as they met one another that there was nobody else for them,” said Audrey Burton, 67, the couple’s eldest daughter.

Beryl and Arthur met when she was 15 and he was 17.

They waited five years to marry because tradition dictated Beryl’s older sister must marry first.

Both were involved in the war effort. Beryl made Spitfire parts in a factory, while Arthur, known as Spadge to his pals, was a Petty Officer for the Royal Navy and escorted North Atlantic convoys.

After the war they lived in London, moving to Sussex in 1956 and Polegate in 1964. Arthur took a job with British Rail, and was station manager at Eastbourne for many years. Beryl worked for local businesses and was involved with St George’s Catholic Church on Eastbourne Road.

The pair have three children, Audrey, Stephanie, and Graham, and also have two grandchildren, and say the secret to their marital success is carving out clear roles for themselves within the home.

“They both have their set roles,” said Audrey. “Dad was always the provider and protector, while mum made a lovely home for us. That was their generation, and we are a very traditional family unit. They had their roles.

“Dad always brought home the money, and we were brought up to be well-behaved and polite.”

After retirement the couple became regular theatregoers and travelled widely around the UK and Europe.

In recent years, as their mobility has become restricted, Beryl, now 90, and Arthur, now 92, have stayed close to home and enjoyed the company of family and loyal friends.

They were delighted to receive a congratulatory telegram from the Queen on Wednesday (August 5), and spent a day of quiet celebration with family and a Chinese dinner.

“It’s been wonderful being part of that lovely circle,” said Audrey.

She added, “We all feel that. Nobody is excluded.”

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