JUST after the country has put away their bunting for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, a Shirley couple are preparing to celebrate their own 60th anniversary.
Canadian-born Jim Smith and the then Marjorie Brewer, who have lived in Solihull for over 40 years, first met 64 years ago at a dance in Higher Walton, near Preston in Lancashire.
But before they could get married, the need to find a brighter future drove Mr Smith 3,500 miles away to Canada to find a better career.
Against the odds, the relationship survived and a year later, just as Mrs Smith was about to pack her things and fly out to join him, her husband-to-be returned to England where they married in June 28, 1952 in the same parish church in Higher Walton where they met.
The couple moved to Canada where they spent 18 years living in Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, and had two daughters Diane and Sharon before returning permanently to England 41 years ago,
Mr Smith, now 84, worked in sales for a Leamington Spa-based engineering firm and initially set up home in Danford Lane, Solihull, eventually settling in Bronte Farm Road, Shirley, with Mrs Smith, now 79, where they have now lived for more than 20years.
Younger daughter Sharon now lives nearby while Diane lives near Melton Mowbray.
However the family are planning to celebrate together this weekend with a special meal.
But Mrs Smith said the secret to a long and happy marriage was a simple one: “The secret is that when I speak, Jim says ‘Yes, dear.’ Although I doubt he would give you the same answer.”