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Postal duty delivered a life together
Buy this photo » Margaret and John Smith
WHEN 14-year-olds Margaret and John spotted each other across the delivery yard at a post office it was love at first sight.
Today, the couple, now both 81, celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.
As teenagers the couple worked at St Aldate’s Post Office in Oxford, Mr Smith as a telegram boy and his wife-to-be as a trainee telephonist.
During her breaks Mrs Smith, of Duxford Close, Bicester, spotted a young man riding his motorbike into the yard everyday to collect mail. Soon they were dating.
Mrs Smith, nee Barrett, said: “We met when we were 14 when I started at St Aldate’s Post Office.
“When I used to go to the retiring room I would see them coming in on their motorbikes in the yard. We just got communicating.
“When you’re that age you used to go to the cinema a lot, we used to go to the Electra, in Queen Street.”
Seven years later, aged 21, the couple married and went on to have six children, Caroline, 59, twins Angela and Elizabeth, 57, Geoffrey, 53, Valerie, 50, and Samantha, 44.
The couple said life centred on the children, with holidays to Pontins and family activities. They lived near Horspath Road, in Oxford, for 30 years, Mr Smith, who spent two years in the Royal Engineers on National Service, worked for several Oxford based firms including Morris Motors in the stores department, as a postman, and then for WH Smith, where he was news manager until he retired aged 57 through ill health.
Asked the secret of a long and happy marriage, Mrs Smith said: “You have to give and take, that’s the main thing.”
The couple will host an anniversary party at the Littlebury Hotel, in Kings End, Bicester, on Saturday, surrounded by their family, including their 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.