A couple who were told their marriage would never last shortly after their wedding day have celebrated their 60th anniversary this week.
Terry and Daphne Jones, of Swan Close, in Middleton Cheney, were married when Mrs Jones was only 17 and Mr Jones was 21.
The couple, who are now 77 and 81, met through Mrs Jones prep-school friend, Gillian, who was Mr Jones’ sister.
Mr Jones was with the RAF and Mrs Jones was training at the North Oxfordshire Technical College.
When she first met Mr Jones, Mrs Jones thought he was ‘miserable’.
“I said ‘hello’ to him and he didn’t say anything back,” she said.
She stayed at home of her friend’s parents and one day, when her friend was trying on earrings, Mr Jones made his feelings known.
“Terry started tickling Gillian and she said to me, ‘Daphne, come help me’.
“When I went over to her, Terry grabbed me and locked me in the lounge and said he wouldn’t let me go until I gave him a kiss.
“I told him ‘I don’t give my kisses away for free’.
“In the end he had to unlock the door and let me go.
“He phoned me the next night and asked me to marry him.
“I knew in my heart of hearts it was right, but I said to him ‘no funny business, mind’.
“I was 17 and he was 21 and on April 5 we got married. Everyone said the marriage wouldn’t work because I was so young.”
They were married in St Mary’s Church, in Tysoe and held their reception in the village hall.
The couple have travelled all over the world due to Mr Jones’ position in the RAF as a motor mechanic, living on various air force bases and in Tysoe, Cyprus, Singapore and Swalcliffe.
After Mr Jones left the air force, he became the manager of a furniture store on Parsons Street, in Banbury and has also been a warrant officer for the Oman Air Force.
They had two children, Stuart and Nick, but Nick tragically died in a car accident only a few days before his 24th birthday.
The couple have also fought through difficult financial times which saw the Jones move into a one bedroom flat, on Dashwood Road, in Banbury owned by John Humphris funeral directors, where they lived for two years.
Mrs Jones said: “Things got quite difficult at one stage and my husband was too proud to ask for help.”
From there, they moved to Swalcliffe where they lived for nine years. Mrs Jones worked as a carer for a while before the couple moved again to Kings Sutton.
“Then, out of the blue, we had the offer of a house in Middleton Cheney.
“Because it was overgrown, we went around the back to have a look through the kitchen window. We saw a lounge and a fireplace and I said, ‘yes, we will have it.’
“It took us a while to decorate it and we put in a new kitchen. We worked so hard – it is like a palace now.”
She added: “We have never been as happy as we are now even though we lost Nick.”
The couple is celebrating with a party at The Saye and Sele Arms, in Broughton today (Thursday) with another party being held at the Whateley this weekend.
As well as their son, Stuart, the couple also have two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.