A BASINGSTOKE couple have spoken about their life-long love story after celebrating 70 years of marriage.

Ronald and Jane Goode first met in 1941 at the age of 14 when Ron walked past a confectionary store in Kilburn, London, and Jane – known as Jean – caught his eye.

The couple, who are now both 87, then courted for a further three years before getting married on July 1, 1944 at the Willesden Lane Register Office.

Ron recalled enjoying “good weather” on their wedding day, adding: “I remember coming home and we went to Jean’s mum’s house, and we had cod cutlets for our wedding breakfast.”

Seventy years on, they have become one of an elite group to reach a platinum wedding anniversary.

Like all couples, Ron and Jean have been through some good and bad times over the years.

Tragedy struck when their first-born child, Ronnie, was killed at just two-years-old in 1947 after two cars collided and one mounted a footpath, hitting him.

The couple went on to have seven other children – Brian, Tony, Christine, Linda, Peter, Diane and Sam – and they now have a very extended family of 16 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

Ron worked as a pipe fitter for the gas board in Kilburn after his stint in the army and also for both Hampsted and Paddington Borough Council, whilst Jean cared for their seven children at home.

The couple first moved to Basingstoke in the early 1980s and have lived in their home in Charles Richards Close, Kings Furlong, for the last nine years.

Ron and Jean, who received a card from The Queen in recognition of reaching the landmark wedding anniversary, celebrated their marvellous marriage milestone at a party with 80 close friends and family at the Powerleague football centre, in Brighton Hill, last Saturday.

Jean said the secret to a long marriage is to love each other, adding: “I couldn’t be without him now.”

Ron said that an active life is also vital to a lasting marriage, adding: “We go out shopping and the family take us out for drives in the countryside. We also go out for dinners together.”

Five things that happened in 1944 - the year Ron and Jean's married life started

  • The D-Day invasion started on June 6 in Normandy, northern France.
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax was introduced, resulting in tax deducated from employers weekly or monthly pay packets, replacing annual or twice-yearly colelctions.
  • The summer Olympics, which were due to be held in London, were cancelled because of the Second World War.
  • Married females were allowed to teach in schools for the first time after Education Minister Rab Butler introduced the Education Act. Until then, if a woman teacher married she had to resign.
  • A host of famous faces were born in 1944, including director of the Star Wars trilogy George Lucas, actors Danny Devito and Michael Douglas, The Who singer Roger Daltrey and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.