Secrets to a lifetime of love

Tony and Marie Gledhill SUS-180831-124040001
Tony and Marie Gledhill SUS-180831-124040001

A couple who were married just six months after they first met are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary today.

Tony Gledhill, from West Chiltington, met his soon-to-be future wife Marie at Catford Dance Hall in March 1958.

But it wasn’t the most auspicious of starts to a relationship: Tony sported two black eyes and a swollen nose from a football injury - and fibbed about his age.

He told Marie that he was 21, when in fact he was just 20.

But the couple hit it off and were engaged within three months and married three months after that on September 3 1958 at Portsmouth Register Office.

And as they celebrate their diamond anniversary today, former police officer Tony, now 80, puts the secret to a long and happy marriage as “being loving, caring, being there for each other through thick and thin, laughing, crying.”

And Marie maintains the secret is “having a husband that cooks and gives his wife breakfast in bed every morning.”

When the couple first met Marie worked for Barclays Bank, and Tony was a police officer stationed at Lee Green.

Their first home was rented accommodation close to work before later buying their first house in Sidcup. They moved to Hayes in Kent in 1962.

And while family life prospered - the couple had son Stewart and daughter Rachel - Tony’s career took an unexpected turn.

While serving with the Metropolitan Police in 1966, Tony was involved in a terrifying chase with an armed gang during which he was shot at 15 times - and was later awarded the George Cross for his heroism in chasing and subduing the armed criminals.

Now Tony and Marie, who have lived in West Chiltington since 1997, are celebrating their milestone diamond anniversary with their family: daughter Rachel and her husband David with their children Tim, Ryan, Nathan and Meghan; along with son Stewart and his wife Rohkey and their two children William and Ami.