Couple celebrate lengthy marriage

Frank and Mary Smythson who celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary.'''Picture by Louise Adams C130349-1 Bog DIA Smythson
Frank and Mary Smythson who celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary.'''Picture by Louise Adams C130349-1 Bog DIA Smythson

A FELPHAM couple are celebrating the diamond anniversary of their wedding with a family get-together.

Frank and Mary Smythson, who have two children and four grandchildren, will be joined by about 15 guests for their special occasion.

Mrs Smythson, 80, said: “Being married for so long is about compromise and helping each other out.”

The couple met at a social club in Neasden, north-west London, in the area where they lived.

About 18 months later they married at St Martin’s Church in nearby Kensal Rise on a fine day.

Mr Smythson, 86, worked in the building trade while Mrs Smythson did invisible mending of clothing.

The newlyweds moved to Crawley, which was still a new town, where Mr Smythson put his building skills to good use.

“I started the first self-build group in Crawley and we built 24 houses in Furnace Green,” he said.

“It took two-and-a-half years of working evenings and weekends, but there was a real sense of satisfaction in building your own home.”

The couple lived in the three-bedroom semi-detached for seven years before they emigrated to South Africa.

They failed to settle and soon returned to England.

A few house moves followed before they arrived in Middleton in 1993 and they settled in Andrew Avenue in 2003.

The couple were keen ballroom and Latin dancers and became the Sussex champions in 1986.

They switched their attention to bowling and enjoy friendly sessions at Middleton Sports Club.