An elderly couple in Staffordshire will celebrate their 77th wedding anniversary this year, making their marriage one of Britain’s longest on record.
George and Phyllis Loftus were married on August 10 1940. He is now 100 and she 94. Their wartime wedding in a register office followed by a reception in a café was by necessity a modes t affair remembers Phyllis. Neither had the money for a honeymoon.
“It was wartime and rationing and there were no wedding photographs. We had a memorable roast pork dinner with apple pie and cream.”
Before their retirements, George made his living as a railway labourer, firemand and miner, while Phyllis was a bus conductor, magistrate and councillor. Thanks to their son Ray, now in his 70s they have two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. During their time together Geoorge and Phyllis have seen off no less than 17 Prime Ministers.
Phyllis originally met George in 1938 while training to be a nurse in Birmingham. George was working with her brother Douglas at a local railyard at the time and the pair waved at her as she passed one day. Phyllis invited George for tea the next day.
Recalling their decades of marriage, Phyllis advises other couples to talk to their spouses every day and resolve any disagreements before bed.
“I would also say to couples, don’t let the sun go down on any wrath.”
The nonagenerian also believes home cooking plays a big role in married life.
“Always keep your husband well fed. We always have a good hot meal every night and a chat.”
Phyllis is proud of her culinary skills. “I was a housewife. I have always cooked. We don’t have any convenience food in this house.”
“I have always said as long as there is good food on the table that’s all that matters. And you have to laugh if you are going to be in this house.”
The couple have lived, Phyllis explains, by principles passed on by her mother.
“My mother gave me these guidelines 75 years ago: when shopping and you see something, look in your purse and if you can afford it and need it, OK. If not, then shut your purse.”
This attitude has meant a modest lifestyle – never owning a home or car – but also freedom from debt.