A lifetime of love has been celebrated by a Brackley couple as they marked 60 years of marriage and their 80th birthdays.
Alice and Charlie Southee, of Bridge Street, met when they were 15 years old and living in the same south east London neighbourhood.
Mr Southee said it was love at first sight after Alice ‘made her mind up as soon as she saw me’. The couple were married at the end of Mr Southee’s two-year National Service with the RAF and they moved to Weston Turville in Buckinghamshire. Mr Southee worked as a farmworker while Mrs Southee raised their 10 children, born between the years of 1954 and 1966. A job at Banbury Building concrete works enabled the couple to buy their first home in Brackley – where they still live today.
Mr and Mrs Southee now enjoy a quiet retirement, keeping up with 19 grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren.
Mr Southee said: “My wife wanted a big family. I didn’t get a lot of say in it! She wanted lots of children because she is the maternal type and she loved children.”
Five of the Southee’s daughters married Americans and now live in the United States.
A family get together, one of many over the last few months, marked the Southee’s milestone achievement, as well as a telegram from the Queen. Mr Southee summed up their long and happy marriage, saying: “We are lucky. Like many families we have had times when we did not have enough money to do what we wanted. Our children don’t seem to have that problem. It brings you closer together when you have got to fight together.”