A COUPLE have proved that a simple wedding can be a successful formula for a happy marriage.

Great-grandparents Ken and Peggy Mayall, of Mancot Royal Close, Mancot, are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary after being married in the most basic of ceremonies 50 years ago this month.

But the occasion was something Ken feared he would not make, having been left battling cancer during the past year.

He said: “I thought I might not make it to the anniversary, so it is particularly special to be able to celebrate 50 years being married.”

On the big day the couple shunned any thoughts of a white wedding to marry in Aylesbury Registry Office in their native Buckinghamshire in the presence of just two witnesses on November 5, 1960, with no photographs surviving from the couple’s big day.

Ken, 72, said: “My boss, who was my best man, took the photographs but they didn’t develop. Cameras were a bit different back then.

“When somebody offers to do something for you without payment you can’t get too annoyed when it doesn’t work out. More importantly we’ve got the memories of the day.”

Peggy, 70, said: “I never wanted a white wedding and things have worked out well.

“We have had six children, 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren and are very fond of all of them, with family being important to us.”

The couple met three years before they married, remaining in Buckinghamshire until 1977 when Ken’s work saw him move to Chester as he ran the Speedy Fit garage.

The move north saw Ken and Peggy settle in Mancot, where they have happily remained ever since.

Despite being past the national retirement age, both Ken and Peggy have stayed dedicated to their work.

Ken has finally put the brakes on his career driving buses for Arriva in recent months, but Peggy continues to work as a part-time carer for Everycare Ltd.

The golden wedding was marked with a gathering at McLeans Pub, Mancot, as dozens of close family and friends joined together to celebrate the enduring marriage.

“Having a wedding anniversary on Bonfire Night makes it easy to remember. If I forgot, I think it would be me on the top of the bonfire,” joked Ken.