Anniversary party praised by couple

Ken and Jessie Newton have been married for 70 years
Ken and Jessie Newton have been married for 70 years

A MUCH-LOVED couple celebrated 70 years of marriage surrounded by family and friends.

Childhood sweethearts Ken Newton, 89, and his wife Jessie, 87, of Kithurst Crescent, Goring, were treated to a surprise party held at Worthing Indoor Bowls Club on Saturday.

Our daughters and son-in-laws have worked miracles.

Jessie Newton

Jessie said: “It was absolutely marvellous. It’s a family a lot of people would die for because we never argue. Our daughters and son-in-laws have worked miracles.”

Around 50 people attended the party, including the couple’s daughter Christine and her son Paul, who had travelled from Australia especially for the occasion.

There were tears of joy on Friday when Christine, 67, hid in her parents kitchen, before bringing out a cup of tea to them in the lounge.

She said: “It meant everything. I was determined to be here. I couldn’t miss out on a 70th wedding anniversary.

“The party was absolutely fabulous. It was just surprises all around. I think they were overwhelmed by it a little bit. Mum kept saying it was something she would never forget.”

Last Tuesday, the date of the couple’s anniversary, they were treated to lunch at Amberley Castle by their daughter Shirley, 66, of Ashurst Close, Goring.

Jessie and Ken have been a couple since they were aged nine and 11, respectively.

The pair went to school together in London and would play out in the streets.

They moved to Goring 51 years-ago, following a week long stay in the area. When they returned to London they saw an advert for the Goring Green estate and after visiting again decided to move.

Jessie said the secret to such a long and happy marriage was not forgetting one another when you have a family.

“You must not forget your partner. Your children fly the coup and you’re left together. We still love one another dearly,” she said.

Ken added: “When we married, people around us said we will give it two years and here we are still together. We get on very well together. My wife’s a lovely cook, she gives me lovely dinners.”

The couple’s grandson Steve made a special mix tape for the party consisting of their favourite music. It included the couple’s favourite song Night and Day by Ella Fitzgerald and songs by Lonnie Donegan.