Little Heath couple still in love after 65 years of marriage

PUBLISHED: 12:22 12 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:22 12 September 2016

Charles and Betty Allum on their wedding day on September 15 1951.

Charles and Betty Allum on their wedding day on September 15 1951.


An 87-year-old woman, preparing to celebrate her 65th wedding anniversary, told Redbridge couples “if the love is there then you will be together forever”.

Betty and Charles Allum before their 65th wedding anniversary.Betty and Charles Allum before their 65th wedding anniversary.

Betty Allum and her husband Charles, also 87, who have lived in Little Heath for 53 years, will celebrate the milestone on Thursday.

And Betty let the Recorder in on the secret of their marital success: “We are still deeply in love, we still care for each other every day.

“We have compassion and see the other person’s point of view, it’s simple really.”

Betty and Charles met in 1945 at a church youth club in Islington aged 15 and 16.

“It was my first visit, and when I arrived he was already there playing table tennis,” Betty said.

“He came over and said: ‘Would you like to play?’

“I replied that I didn’t know how, and he said: ‘I’ll teach you.’”

The pair would go on dates cycling into the countryside before Charles, who was serving in the army, was stationed to Germany for two years, and they kept in touch by letter.

Betty explained Charles proposed “casually”.

She said: “We were walking along one night and he said: ‘I’m sure we could be very happy together.’

“I responded ‘are you asking me to marry you’ and he said yes, so we got married.”

The date was September 15 1951. Winston Churchill became prime minister for the second time, The Archers was a new and unknown radio show and X ratings were introduced by the British Board of Film Classification.

Betty said their wedding day, the night Charles proposed and the birth of their two daughters, Gill and Debbie, were her standout moments.

The couple now have five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and another great-granddaughter is due on Saturday.

Charles suffers from Parkinson’s disease and dementia, and Betty cares for him every day.

“The deep love is still there,” she added.

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