72nd anniversary and thankful for every year

Phyl and George Brunton
Phyl and George Brunton

A couple in their eighth decade of successful marriage hope their fun-loving attitudes will continue to serve them well after a recent discovery of misfortune.

Phyl, 90, and George Brunton, 95, who married on June 2 1940 have recently been reminded of the importance of their long companionship after their life together has been cut short.

George has been diagnosed with cancer of the lungs but is still full of good humour and says he remembers the first day he met his wife, in 1937, well.

“I was 21 and Phyl was 15. We both worked for the Co-Op in Croydon,” he said. “We always cycled to work and I got to know her little wiggle on her bike.”

Phyl recalled the day with ease: “We were cycling to work and I had to go across the tram lines and this fella kept following me. One day he came over to me and he said that I was going to get caught in the tram lines one day.”

The loving wife speaks of their early days together with good spirits: “It was my 17th birthday when George proposed. My mother was so relieved because she was worried I was going to go off the rails if I didn’t settle down. I might well have done. Think what I’ve missed!”

Phyl says the key to the success of their marriage was good humour and a fun-loving life-style including ballroom dancing every Saturday night.

Son David Brunton, 65, from Mannings Heath, said he and his three siblings - Diane, 70; Philip, 57; and Simon, 54 - were extremely proud of their parents, who live in Christ’s Hospital and have 21 grand children and great grand children.

“It’s a tremendous achievement,” David said. “They have been exceedingly good Christian parents. They have always done everything they possibly could for their children.

“My father is probably not going to be with us for a lot longer. He wants a few more years but he has accepted it now. They will be making the most of each year now.”