Lifelong love shines for a diamond couple

Celebrations for John & Joyce Smith, who received a telegram from the Queen, on their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

Pictured: John & Joyce Smith NNL-160706-230539009

Celebrations for John & Joyce Smith, who received a telegram from the Queen, on their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Pictured: John & Joyce Smith NNL-160706-230539009

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A Warwick couple are celebrating a happy 60 years of marriage - putting their happiness down to love and understanding.

John and Joyce Smith, who live in Warwick, are looking back on six decades of happiness after celebrating the milestone anniversary with a party for family and friends.

John and Joyce Smith on their wedding day in 1952

John and Joyce Smith on their wedding day in 1952

The pair were married at St Paul’s church in Friars Street on May 21, 1956 and said they have been as happy together ever since.

Putting their long-lasting relationship down to love and friendship, Mrs Smith, who turned 83 this week, said: “We love each other very much.

“On top of that we have always had our own time. I am very involved in the church and he has his markets so we are both very busy.

“While John was working and I was looking after the children we did not see each other as often.

Now we are retired we can have lunch and dinner together which we couldn’t for years and that is lovely

Joyce Smith

“Now we are retired we can have lunch and dinner together which we couldn’t for years and that is lovely.”

Mr Smith, aged 80, said he was born and raised in Warwick, and often helped out at a greengrocers shop in West Street which his parents owned.

It was there that he often saw his wife-to-be Joyce and it was not long before the pair fell in love.

A young Joyce lived in nearby Linen Street. And while the pair were both pupils at Westgate School, segregated classes meant they did not often see each other during the day.

Recalling his younger years, Mr Smith said he used to see Joyce often when she came into the small shop to buy ice cream.

And it was later when they joined the Court dance school that they began courting.

The pair were married three years later and John started a business, first selling fire sticks made from old crates and later car parts from his parents’ back yard.

With a partner, he soon launched Banbury Motor Spares, Warwick Army and Navy Stores in Old Square, and Leisure Life in Leamington - taking him through a long and busy working life.

Joyce, who was an apprentice in soft furnishings at Woodwards in Leamington before they married, continued her love of crafts once they moved into Lakin Road.

They went on to have four children and now have eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

In 1979 John retired, moving the family to Bridge End where he continued to enjoy selling second hand tools at car boot fairs.

They celebrated the milestone anniversary with a party for 90 friends and family members, and were “very excited” to receive a congratulatory card from the Queen.