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Why we’re still smiling after 50 years together

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 02, 2013

  • 24/01/13 Golden Wedding - 27 Grange Close, Burton Alan and Sheila Wortley will be celebrating 50 years of marriage in March

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A COUPLE from Burton are today celebrating their golden wedding anniversary – insisting the key to a happy marriage is having a sense of humour.

Alan and Sheila Wortley, of Grange Close, will mark 50 years of marriage back where it all began, for Mr Wortley at least.

The couple are to celebrate in the company of friends and family at the Grange Inn, in Casey Lane, where he spent the morning of his wedding before walking to the church.

He said: “We got married in St Paul’s Church in Burton. I walked to the church from the Grange pub to save money and got there before the car.”

The pair met at a dance at Burton Town Hall and Mrs Wortley vividly remembers having fears that her big day could be scuppered due to the conditions of the infamous winter of 1963, when much of Britain was under inches of snow for weeks.

She said: “It was a sunny day despite the bad weather that year but leading up to the wedding I was worried that we might have to change our plans.”

Mr Wortley candidly admits that there have been ups and downs, but says that is only to be expected during half a century of marriage which has brought two children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

But it could all have been different as Mr Wortley recollects the most difficult time of his life, just three years into the marriage.

The couple’s son Mark arrived six weeks premature and Mrs Wortley ‘nearly died’ after giving birth.

Mr Wortley said: “That was a scary time.

“But they both pulled through, and you wouldn’t know what happened looking at Mark now; he’s a big strapping lad like me.”

Looking back on 50 years of marriage, Mrs Wortley added: “You need to have patience, tolerance and a sense of humour, and love of course. You’ve got to have that sense of humour to get you through the bad times.”

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