Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
'Fairytale couple' Syd and Frances Johnson celebrate 60 years of marriage
Just as hostilities in the Second World War were coming to an end, 14-year-old Syd Johnson had an heroic scrap of his own. He took on a rival at Wembley’s One Tree Hill Park for the favours of his childhood sweetheart Frances Johnson.
More than half a century later, the couple are still together and on Sunday they celebrate 60 years of marriage.
Sydney Herbert Johnson was born on August 11 1931, the middle son in a family of five.
At age 14 he worked as an apprentice compositor at Alperton but his apprenticeship was interrupted by National Service and a posting to Egypt. When he returned he continued his apprenticeship at Sudbury Hill. When he qualified, he moved to Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO) in Harrow, where his potential was spotted and he was quickly promoted.
With new printing technology and the birth of the computer, he created his own company, Pica, which became successful in research development, both on the domestic market and overseas.
His skills and experience led to frequent lecture tours and he often travelled to Odhams printing company in Watford to present to trainees and experienced staff.
He described his working life as "wonderful", and said he "enjoyed every challenge, twist and turn" his career had taken before his retirement at the age of 64.
Syd’s wife-to-be was born Frances Mary Johnson, on April 6, 1931, the youngest of four girls living in Wembley.
At age 14 she started a course in London, working adding machines, also for HMSO.
When she qualified, she worked in London for many years, before the couple married at St James Church in Alperton on October 6, 1953. They initially lived their parents in Wembley, and then moved to their first house in Harrow Weald and moved several times within Middlesex before eventually setting up home in Links Way, Croxley Green.
She continued working until her first daughter, Tina, was born. The couple had a second daughter, Jeannette.
When the girls had flown the nest she returned to work, training as a dental nurse before retiring in her fifties.
Asked what was the secret to their long and lasting marriage, the couple agreed: "When something is broken, you do not throw it away, you fix it."
Daughter Tina said: "Their life has been a fairytale and a celebration of marriage for a life time.
"They have been, and still are, wonderful parents, grandparents, and now great grand-parents. They have always been supportive, in every way, to us all. They have helped us cope with the unexpected surprises life can throw up at you."
She added: "Their laughter and commitment to each other is as apparent now, as it was in my early days of childhood.
"Being part of my parents’ happy and loving marriage convinces me, that even in today’s very busy world, love does conquer all."
As well as their daughters and sons-in law, they are grand-parents to Ben, Rikki, Harry, Joe and Vicky, and great grand-parents to Tamzin and George.
Comments are closed on this article.