Childhood sweethearts celebrate diamond day

Keith and May Cox

Keith and May Cox - Credit: Archant

There was cause for celebration in Needingworth earlier this month, as a pair of childhood sweethearts celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Keith and May Cox, both 79, met in 1952, when they were both 16 and working for a dairy firm in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

“My wife was an office girl and I was in the garage and we didn’t get together very much at work,” Keith said.

“We would see each other when we left to go home but not in the day. The boys used to see the girls in the office and were always smiling and looking at them, and whistling too I imagine.

“I walked home with her for the first time and I was with my bike and she was walking home to get the bus, and that’s when we first talked and arranged our first date.”

The pair married just a few years later on November 10, 1956, in Westcliff-on-Sea, before Keith was relocated to Unigate Dairies’ Fenstanton site.

May, who was promoted to area co-ordinator for the company, joined him in Cambridgeshire a year later and the two settled into their Needingworth home in 1987 – where they live today.

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They have three children, Deborah, 57, Stephen, 56, and Deri, 54, and also have three grandchildren.

“I just love the area and it’s wonderful,” said Keith, who went on to work for J. Wadsworth, in St Ives, for 14 years.

“Whenever we come over the St Ives bridge and look down the river, we think it’s the most wonderful sight.”

Now retired, the pair like to lend a helping hand in the community, working with the Good Neighbours Group, sitting with people, giving lifts to people who have hospital appointments, and sometimes do their shopping.

And after 60 years’ of marriage, Keith says there is just one secret.

“Never go to bed on an argument and be prepared to say sorry,” he said.

Keith and May returned to Essex for their anniversary, where they celebrated with May’s two sisters – who were also bridesmaids at their wedding – and Keith’s brother who was best man.

The celebrations carried on until November 12 as well, where they met with family for an event at the Dolphin Hotel, in St Ives.