Golden anniversary couple return to their Willesden roots

Husband and wife emigrated to Australia after marrying 50 years ago

Never letting the sun go down on an argument is the secret to a long marriage, according to a couple who have just celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

John and Betty Carter married at St Francis of Assisi Church in Fleetwood Road, Willesden on July 8, 1961, and moved to Australia three years later.

They have returned to the UK to mark the occasion at a special ceremony held at Betty’s sister house in Hertfordshire but couldn’t resist going back to the church where it all began.

Mrs Carter, 70, said: “It was wonderful.

“The highlight was seeing friends we had not seen since we left Willesden 46 years ago.”

The happy couple grew up in Villiers Road, Willesden, and Mrs Carter recalled them bonding after her future husband introduced himself by asking for a lick of her ice cream.

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She said: “We lived on the same street so I had seen him before.

“I liked him so when he asked for a lick of my ice cream I said yes.

“We started playing Elvis records together and pretty much hit off from there.”

Mr Carter, a 71-year-old retired joiner, admits they occasionally have had their ups and downs, but added: “You have to make sure that you don’t dwell on these things for two long otherwise you make it much worse than it actually is.

“As soon as there is a problem nowadays people just want to get divorced.”

After retiring in the late 1970s the couple took trips to New Zealand and Fuji but now enjoy spending time with family including son Mark, 46, grandchildren Christy, 25, Natasha, 23, Terry, 20, and two-year-old great granddaughter Suquion.

Since their return the couple have taken a romantic stroll down memory lane visiting some of their old haunts including the street were they first met.

Mrs Carter said: “Willesden has changed so much we hardly recognised it.

“Everything seems so new, it is all been upgraded and painted.

“It was very exciting and brought back a lot of good memories.”