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Couple celebrate 50 years of married life

Sandra and Ralph Jones were joined by family and friends for their golden anniversary

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Sandra and Ralph Jones celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary in 2006

A couple celebrating 50 years of marriage have said communication is what has kept them together.

Sandra and Ralph Jones, of Pendle Street in Accrignton, married on July 23, 1966, on Sandra’s 21st birthday.

The couple, who are both 71 and have three children, celebrated five decades of marriage surrounded by more than 30 family and friends with a meal at the Oriental Delight in Clayton-le-Moors.

Sandra, who was an original member of the Observer’s Junior League Children’s club, said her wedding photograph was taken by Obervser photographer Garth Dawson.

She said: “We were married at St Paul’s Church in Oswaldtwistle by Roy Braithwaite. We couldn’t afford to go on honeymoon so I spent the first days of my married life watching England win the World Cup.

“It’s an achievement nowadays to reach 50 years.”

Ralph and Sandra have three children, Debbie, Natalie and Alexander, and two grandchildren.

Ralph worked at Enfields which later becamae Oswaldtwistle Mills, while Sandra worked on a sewing machine for 30 years before becoming a home carer for Spring Hill Care Home before her retirement.

Sandra said the best advice for being married for 50 years was to talk to each other.

She said: “Communicate, don’t go off in a huff, you have to consider the other person more than yourself.”

The couple will be continuing to celebrate later this year.

Sandra said: “We toned down my birthday celebrations because our anniversary was the bigger event. Our family are sending us to St Ives in Cornwall for a week in September and they have given us some spending money as well.

"My sister has also organised a visit for us to the Harry Potter studio so I’m looking forward to that.”