SEVEN decades ago Britain was at war, Muhammed Ali was born, Stalingrad was attacked — and Douglas Jones married his sweetheart, Norah.

Now Mr and Mrs Jones, of Egerton, have proved they can go the distance by celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary and marking 70 years together.

In 1940, Mr Jones, a 20-year-old army conscript, was stationed in Lincolnshire, while Miss Odling, as she was called then, aged 17, worked in a greengrocery in nearby Spilsby.

Mr Jones regularly went into the store to buy groceries, but admitted to being a bit shy. Despite that, two years later he was a nervous bridegroom standing in a village church waiting for his sweetheart to arrive.

The wedding was conducted by Rev Barraclough at 8am on Saturday, September 12, 1942 in St Peter’s Church, Toynton, in Lincolnshire. Due to a wartime posting in Norfolk, the couple were soon 150 miles apart, which meant a labour of love for Mr Jones to visit his new wife. After the war, Douglas drove coaches for Midland Red for 35 years, and when he retired, Mrs Jones took a job in a clothes shop. He said: “We moved from Exmouth to here because I wasn’t well. I was much better once I got here to Egerton.”

Now they are celebrating their 70th anniversary in their home of 20 years in Briggs Fold Road.

The couple keep their minds active by doing crosswords and puzzles. Mr Jones, aged 93, said the secret to their long marriage was give and take.

He said: “If someone says they don’t have a row there’s something wrong with them.

You’ve got to work at the relationship.”

Mrs Jones, aged 89, said: “You’re never too old to be romantic. We like to hold hands and kiss. We do love each other.”

They have two sons, six grandchildren and seven greatgrandchildren.

Mrs Jones said: “My greatgrandchildren are my life. I love them all.”