Wealden couples celebrate Platinum wedding anniversaries

Elvet and Gladys Chapman with council chairman Chris Hardy
Elvet and Gladys Chapman with council chairman Chris Hardy

Wealden District Council has joined with Buckingham Palace in celebrating Platinum wedding anniversaries.

Council Chairman Chris Hardy felt the Queen and Prince Philip’s celebration of love and commitment was something to be shared closer to home in Wealden.

Philip and Gladys Weight with councillor Chris Hardy

Philip and Gladys Weight with councillor Chris Hardy

He sent out a call to find local couples who were also celebrating 70 years of marriage, and was able to find not one, but three couples.

Elvet and Gladys Chapman of Hailsham celebrated 70 years of marriage in July this year and Philip and Gladys Weight, also of Hailsham, celebrated 75 years of marriage in August.

Iris and Derek Fox of Stone Cross will also be celebrating 70 years of marriage later this month.

The Chapmans met in Peckham when Gladys and a friend were walking home and Gladys complained of being cold. Elvet overheard and gallantly offered to keep her warm.

They became friends and married in St Paul’s Church, Peckham a few years later. They moved from London to Hailsham 25 years ago when Elvet retired, and enjoyed their Platinum wedding anniversary with 60 guests at the Kings Head in Horsebridge.

Philip and Gladys Weight also lived in Peckham. They were married on August 1, 1942 during the Blitz, and this year celebrated 75 years of marriage. They spent their honeymoon on a boat going down the Thames, and said they remember stopping under bridges to avoid the bombs.

The couple have four children: John, Christine, Jennifer and Peter. Philip worked as a mechanical engineer and then became a lollypop man in Dulwich before moving to Sussex and eventually settling in Hailsham. He will be 100 years old in January.

Councillor Hardy said, “I’ve really enjoyed meeting two of Wealden’s platinum couples and hearing about their lives. It is a remarkable achievement and deserves to be celebrated.”

The Chairman of Wealden District Council presented both couples with a silver £20 coin from the Royal Mint celebrating the Queen and Prince Philip’s Platinum wedding anniversary and a bottle of champagne.

The Chairman hopes to speak with Iris and Derek Fox later this month to offer his personal congratulations.