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Watford couple Brenda and Douglas Smith mark their platinum wedding anniversary
During the Second World War the sound of church bells would have signalled a coming German invasion rather than two newlyweds tying the knot.
However when the bells of Harefield Church pealed for Brenda and Douglas Smith on June 5, 1943, it heralded the nuptials of a young couple for the first time in the area since the outbreak of the war.
Today (Wednesday, June 5) the Watford couple, now both 92-years-old, celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary.
They first met as 17-year-olds at a family party and married five years later while Mr Smith was enrolled in the RAF.
Mrs Smith said: "We were one of the first weddings in the country to be allowed church bells. They banned them during the war because the sound of bells meant an invasion."
Unlike this sunny week in which they celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary, their wedding day was drizzly and overcast.
Mr Smith lived in the Watford area all his life and grew up in Bushey. After the couple had their first son, Stuart, they moved to their current home near Cassiobury Park. They went on to have another son, Anthony, and now have five grandchildren and a great-grandson of nine months.
Mrs Smith said: "We are so proud of them. All our grandchildren are university graduates."
Mr Smith was in the RAF for six years and afterwards worked at The Sun printers for 50 years. Mrs Smith worked at Cassiobury Junior School for 25 years and she and her husband regularly went on "school journeys" with the pupils.
Mrs Smith said of their years together: "We have had a wonderful life and travelled far and wide."
The couple have travelled all over the world together but have never been on a plane. They have though, been on six cruises.
They will celebrate their platinum anniversary this weekend with all their children and grandchildren around them. Mrs Smith’s sister and Mr Smith’s cousin, who were bridesmaids at their wedding, are also coming to celebrate.
They don’t get to see their children or grandchildren very often as they have moved all over the country, some to the very west of Wales. They said they are very much looking forward to seeing them.
When asked what they believe the secret of a happy marriage to be, Mrs Smith said: "We’ve always worked as a team."
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