Wartime sweethearts from Buckley celebrate 70th wedding anniversary


David Humphreys

A pair of wartime sweethearts whose love has lasted through 14 prime ministers and two monarchs celebrated a landmark anniversary on Wednesday.

John and Ivy Thornton, of Megs Lane, Buckley, toasted their remarkable 70th wedding anniversary in a celebration at their home.

The devoted duo’s first encounter stretches back to a fleeting romance in 1941 before being abruptly cut short when RAF serviceman John was posted to the Far East.

Cllr John Thornton and his wife Ivy pictured with the mayor and mayoress of Buckley, Andy Williams and Wendy Williams

Five years later the couple, by then both engaged to new partners, crossed paths again.

The pair broke off their engagements and rekindled their love.

John, 93, who is originally from Blackpool, first met Ivy, who is 97, when he was posted to Wrexham during the Second World War and the pair kept in touch by writing to one another when John served in Burma and India.

John and Ivy on their wedding day in Blackpool in 1947

After several years in the Far East, John returned to the UK and transferred to RAF Sealand – just miles from his true love’s home.

They were to marry in his home town, Blackpool, a year later in 1947.

Recalling seven decades together, John revealed the simplest of secrets to their longevity together.

“We’ve just loved each other all these years and that’s the main thing really,” he said.

“A happy family life together has been key and we have a wonderful daughter, Vanessa.” 

The couple moved to Lancashire before returning to Buckley to live with Ivy’s mother in Megs Lane.

In 1952 they bought their first home on the same road and have lived there ever since.

John is best known for dedicating almost half a century to his community as a councillor – a landmark he will celebrate next month.

The couple celebrated the landmark platinum anniversary together at home and were visited by family and friends.

They even received a third congratulatory card from the Queen, who the Buckley couple pipped to the special anniversary.

John said: “It’s quite a good while, isn’t it, 70 years? It’s not often you get that far.

“We had the card from the Queen and inside it she said we were sharing the anniversary year with her too.”

See full story in the Leader

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