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No one expects to break up when they saw their wedding vows, but married life can be tough.
It’s not always smooth sailing and kids, work and ageing parents can all cause strain on the relationship.
So it’s always nice to hear a success story when two people really appreciate each other! According to new research by home stairlift company Stannah, people who married in 1960 enjoyed longer marriages than couples who married in any other year.
This year, Christine and Ray Newell will be celebrating their 60th anniversary, so naturally, everyone wants to know the secret to their success in love.
And it turns out it might be more simple than you think.
According to Christine, the reason the couple have lasted so long is that they never go to bed without kissing and making up, even if they’ve had a howler of an argument.
Christine shares the story of her longlasting marriage
I was born on the 21st December 1942. That day a teacher asked her pupils “has anybody got any good or exciting news?”. My brother Don Sedgwick’s hand went up. “Miss, I have a new baby sister!” he said. Sat next to Don was Ray Newell, my future husband, who can still remember that moment to this day. They were six years old.
Ray was a close friend of my brother Don’s. He came to our house regularly and watched me grow up. I remember I always made him a cup of tea and toast. When I started work at 15, he would still pop in for breakfast before I went to catch the bus in the morning. Ray was a miner, so working shifts at the pit.
When Ray’s granddad sadly passed away, he called in. He stood there in a pin-striped suit looking very handsome. He was usually rather scruffy, so he really caught my attention!
Ray’s 21st birthday swung around. I remember babysitting for his friend when the pair of them came back very merry. There wasn’t a seat for me, so I sat on his lap. It was late when I went home, so he kindly walked me home. We shared a kiss and he asked me if I’d like to go to the pictures with him, to which I replied, “you’ll have to ask my mum”. He did, and that was the start of our courting days.
Ray owned a posh car – a Ford Consul. Not many people had cars at the time and I’d never been in one. He would often ask “shall we go to the pictures?” and I would say “can we go for a drive in your car instead? I loved it – he took me everywhere.
I remember the weeks before Christmas one year were so special. I said to Ray, “would you like to marry me?”. He said, “why not?” So, on Christmas Eve of 1958 he presented me with an engagement ring while we were sitting in a pub.
We needed a house then, so sadly had to say goodbye to the posh car. We bought a post-war semi-detached home for £2,500 – which was a lot of money in those days.
We set the wedding date for 23rd July 1960. We did our own catering and had a live band – it was a very happy day! The next day we went on our honeymoon to Barmouth, Wales, in a caravan. Despite it raining every day, we still had a great time.
In 1964 we had our first son, followed by two more lovely children in 1967 and 1968.
Then, in 1977, we bought and moved into a pub called the ‘Lazy Hill Tavern’ in Aldridge, West Midlands. We owned that pub for 40 wonderful years and had a lot of fun. Winning the ‘CAMRA Walsall Pub of the Year’ competition in 1996 was a real highlight.
We’ve had such a special life together and a very happy marriage. Our rule has always been to never argue, and if we have a tiff, to kiss and make up before bedtime. We live in a bungalow together now, spending our time gardening and enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
Here’s to the next chapter.