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81 years of marriage for couple at Milton Keynes retirement village

A couple celebrating their 81st wedding anniversary say 'give and take' has been the key to a long-lasting marriage.


Ron and Joyce Bond are celebrating an incredible 81 years of marriage at ExtraCare’s Shenley Wood Retirement Village.

The pair began their anniversary morning with a radio congratulations from Ken Bruce requested by their son.  

Ron aged 102, and Joyce, 100, moved into Shenley Wood Village in Milton Keynes, in July 2013. The couple met in Bletchley. Ron was born in Blaina, South Wales, while Joyce was born in Bow Brickhill in Bletchley. They were married in 1941 when Joyce was 19 and Ron 21 at Newport Pagnell Registry Office on a day where there was 3 inches of snow. Joyce remembers: "There were queues of couples as Ron’s section were all being sent abroad to assist with the war effort.” They went on to have two children Eileen and Bill. Ron worked at the Shell garage in Bletchley before retiring while Joyce worked at the local Woolworths in Queensway.

The Bond’s found companionship and support when they moved to the ExtraCare retirement community. Joyce comments: “There is everything we need here at Shenley Wood. It is a lovely home, nice people, great care and every facility available for our needs.”

After being asked if it was love at first sight for them there was a unanimous ‘yes’ without hesitation. And what is the secret to making it to the 81-year milestone? Joyce believes they are evenly matched in the relationship: “We never expected to reach 81 years of marriage, we know we are very fortunate to have achieved this amazing goal. It feels excellent! There is no boss in our relationship, we both give and take.”

After receiving a written congratulations from the Queen, Ron and Joyce were proud to make it to the rare milestone. Ron admits: “Sometimes life is hard but we work through it together. We look after each other too.”  

Daughter Eileen is proud of her parents adding: “My parents are a truly inspiration couple, not only to my brother and I but to their grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. There was always a warm welcome and lots of love for all. Dad worked hard to provide for the family, while mum worked hard at keeping our home and us clean and tidy. You only have to spend time with them to know they love and care for each other, even after 81 years of being married.  It was said of them at the time of their wedding, it would not last long, how wrong did folks get that?”




Image Caption: Ron and Joyce at their Shenley Wood Retirement Village apartment.