08:00 Thursday 31 January 2013

Love at first sight led to pair's 60 years together

Written byTIM FLETCHER

A COUPLE who fell in love at first sight as teenagers celebrate 60 years of married life together today.

Geoffrey Claxton first met his future bride, Jean, at a friend’s Christmas party when he was an apprentice plumber and she was a factory worker.

After four years of courting, the pair tied the knot on January 31, 1953 at the now demolished Byrkley Street Chapel, while Mr Claxton, originally from Horninglow, was on leave from a two-year stint serving in the Army with the Life Guards for his National Service.

“It was love at first sight,” he told the Mail. “I think it was because she was very similar to myself - quiet.

“No-one proposed, it was a mutual thing. We’d been together for four years so had a bit of an idea what was going to crack off, and we thought if we got married we’d get a bit of family allowance out of the Government.

“It was a bit chilly on our wedding day and we had a tea at Jean’s grandma’s house in Shobnall Street, as money was a bit tight.

“We had a week in Blackpool for our honeymoon.”

The pair lived for a short while at Mrs Claxton’s parents’ house in Shobnall Street before moving to Princess Street.

They finally settled at their current home in Grange Street, where their four children, Andrew, Susan, Stephen, Julie grew up.

Mr Claxton continued to work as a plumber until 1974, later employed as a porter at Burton’s general and district hospitals.

“The secret of a long marriage is that I do as I’m told,” he joked.

“It seems like only yesterday that we got married but we’re both still very happy together.”

The couple, both 81, will mark their Diamond Wedding anniversary with a meal with family and friends.

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