Steeple Aston couple celebrates Diamond Wedding anniversary

Jean and Tony Clifton had to wait three years to get married because her mother refused to give consent until she was 21.
Tony and Jean Clifton with a picture of their wedding day in 1954Tony and Jean Clifton with a picture of their wedding day in 1954
Tony and Jean Clifton with a picture of their wedding day in 1954

And today (Wednesday) 65 years later, they are celebrating their Diamond Wedding anniversary.

The couple, who met at village dance lessons at Little Tew, courted until their wedding at Swerford Church a week after Jean's 'coming of age' on November 20, 1954.

Mr and Mrs Clifton went on to have two children, Graham and Daphne, and they are now proud grandparents of five and great-grandparents of eight.

Tony Clifton is pictured with his book, A Way of LifeTony Clifton is pictured with his book, A Way of Life
Tony Clifton is pictured with his book, A Way of Life

"We've always helped one another and we've done everything together. We've never had a row," said Mr Clifton.

"We've never been on a holiday. I worked at the Great Tew estate as a farm worker for 54 years and I had very few holidays. I took double pay instead.

"We did go on a bus trip to the coast a couple of times but I was always in a hurry to come back. I don't remember taking a single day off sick while working on the estate," said Mr Clifton, who writes in his retirement and has penned a book about Great Tew.

Mrs Clifton worked at Great Tew Post Office and did part time shifts at Sandford, Swerford and Little Tew post offices.

"I've never tasted alcohol," said Mr Clifton. "My father was very strict about things like that. Jean doesn't drink either. We prefer tea and orange juice."

Mr and Mrs Clifton enjoyed a Ruby Anniversary (40 years) party at the Sun Inn in Hook Norton and their Golden Wedding Anniversary (50 years) was celebrated with a party at the Steeple Aston village hall.

One of the couple's most notable achievements is having raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for different causes with jousting games, made by Mr Clifton and taken, free of charge, to fetes and other events over a period of 30 years.

"I made a lot of games but the jousting one was the most popular," said Mr Clifton. "It is a ride-on game where the person rides on the horse down a slope and has to collect rings with the jousting pole. We did hundreds of fetes a year and we never charged anyone.

"We often got given a bottle of whisky for our trouble and these got put in the cupboard and eventually given away."

Mr and Mrs Clifton will be getting a Diamond Anniversary card of congratulation from HM The Queen to go in the scrapbook with their other Royal card for their Golden Wedding.

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