A LUCKY couple in Ferndale celebrated 69 years of happy marriage this week.

Kenneth and Mary Jones have lived on Ferndale Road for decades and still fondly remember the day they met.

Ken, 94, credits their lasting relationship to a give and take basis - "I give and she takes!" and accepting that "you are not always right and not always wrong" - while Mary, 91, stressed the importance of working things out because "nowadays, people don't stop to do that, they just give up."

Mary said: "We've had a happy life and are lucky to still have one another because some people are left on their own. We help each other - he helps me wash, I help him dress - we have good neighbours, our son orders our shopping, so we're very thankful for what we've got."

Ken added: "Yes, we have nothing to crib about, we're grateful, there's been quite a few happy memories."

Mary used to roller-skate and dance at the Milton Road swimming baths, which became a dancefloor on weekends and is where she first laid eyes on her future husband.

She said: "Big bands and orchestras used to play there, it was lovely. I remember he asked me to dance."

Ken joked: "I saw this young lady looking round and thought 'well, there's nobody else!' so we danced and have not stopped since. I was lucky to meet her, really."

Ken hails from Wales and one of his most vivid memories is hiding from the overhead bombers who targeted his Swansea neighbourhood. After being called up to national service in 1945, he went to work on the railways, which is how he ended up in that Swindon venue on the day he met Mary.

Ken said: "I was 12 when war broke out. Our house got bombed to the ground. We waited under the stairs with my parents, listened to all the bombs, then got up in the morning, looked over the wall and the town was burning.

"After I was demobbed, I cleaned the engines on the railway then got sent to Swindon as a fireman. I played football on Wednesdays and was sometimes still black with soot from work."

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They married in St Mary's Church in Rodbourne after 18 months of courting, had the reception in a hall off The Circle and went to Weymouth for their honeymoon.

Mary worked in the railways, too, in the offices, spending shifts sorting punch-cards, until she fell pregnant and then switched to making baby clothes in a Manchester Road business. Ken left the railways after 12 years to work as a postman.

They have enjoyed many holidays over the years, including several trips to Cyprus where they would meet up with the same friends each time and stayed in touch after their last trip abroad.

They have one son, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.