‘Respect’ the secret to marriage for Ilford couple as they celebrate 50th anniversary

Gordon and Jean Ayres

Gordon and Jean Ayres - Credit: Archant

A couple who first met while in the Young Conservatives have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, after being married by the bride’s uncle in 1963.

Gordon and Jean Ayres on their wedding day in 1963

Gordon and Jean Ayres on their wedding day in 1963 - Credit: Archant

Gordon, 79, and Jean Ayres, 70, of Melbourne Road, Ilford, celebrated 50 years of marriage with their two daughters and their four grandchildren.

Jean is a chorister at St Mary’s Church, High Road, Ilford, and regularly plays the organ at the Ilford Hospital Chapel, Ilford Hill, Ilford.

Gordon was one of the first computer programmers after he developed an interactive management game for Plessey Training Department.

The couple, who moved to Ilford in 1967 from Hornchurch, said they believe a secret to a happy marriage is “respect”.

Gordon said: “On our wedding day, the wrong march was played and Jean refused to walk down the aisle. I thought I’d escaped but the music was soon changed.

“I place all my thanks to Jean who is the reason we have been together so long.”