news

Chester couple's 60 happy years of marriage - thanks to a park bench

Romantic meetings at The Groves led to decades of wedded bliss

Chester couple Marjorie and David Edwards, who are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary, on the park bench from Chester's Groves on which they courted(Image: UGC TCH)

A couple who hit the headlines with their romantic riverside rendezvous are set to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

It all began for Marjorie Jones, now Marjorie Edwards, and husband to be David in 1953 at the former Brookhirst Switchgear works at Newry Park where they both worked, David as an apprentice.

The couple have now lived at their Newhall Road, Plas Newton home for more than 50 years

With a dance coming up David wondered to a colleague if he should ask Marjorie who made it clear only if he did so directly.

That quickstepped into courting and the couple spent countless hours down at the picturesque Groves beauty spot sitting on what became their favourite park bench overlooking the river.

Their visits continued come hail, rain, wind or snow.

They married on the morning of cup final day of May 4 in 1957 at All Saints Church in Hoole with Marjorie telling David, a keen football fan and four years younger than his bride to be, ‘it’s either football or me!’

Chester couple Marjorie and David Edwards who are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary(Image: UGC TCH)

They headed off by train for a honeymoon in Torquay but only arrived at 4am on the Sunday morning due to a problem on the railway.

And their early life together also hit a hitch when Marjorie lost David to two years National Service in the RAF.

He then became a milkman, getting up in the early hours for 40 years to deliver pintas in Westminster Park in all weathers.

They have two children, Helen and Anthony, and four grandchildren but through the decades have often returned to ‘their’ cast iron bench where they fell in love and which held so many cherished memories.

Fast forward to 2011 and the borough council decided the historic benches should be replaced with new ones.

Marjorie told the Chronicle at the time they still spent a couple of days a week down at the Groves and watched the work the council were carrying out from start to finish.

They shared their story with the foreman and the headlines came when the council came up with a ‘lovely surprise’ and to their delight offered to deliver the bench to their home to keep their memories alive.

It now takes pride of place in their back garden.

Apart from enjoying the bench the couple take in seaside views at resorts such as New Brighton and Llandudno and visit Upton Royal British Legion where they will celebrate their anniversary.

“We have had a very happy life together,” says Marjorie.

And a marriage packed with memories thanks to the park bench in their garden.

View full mobile page