School sweethearts from Hornchurch celebrate diamond wedding anniversary

Diamond wedding anniversary
Janet and Charlie Oates, who have been married for 60 years.

Diamond wedding anniversary Janet and Charlie Oates, who have been married for 60 years. - Credit: Archant

A couple who were school sweethearts have celebrated more than 60 years together.

Charlie and Janet Oates on their wedding day.

Charlie and Janet Oates on their wedding day. - Credit: Archant

Janet and Charlie Oates, of Shelley Avenue, Hornchurch, marked their diamond wedding anniversary last Thursday with a dinner with their close family.

Janet, now 79, met Charlie, 81, when they were 15 and 17 respectively at school in Plaistow. After nine months together they got engaged before Charlie joined the Army.

Janet said: “He thought he was going abroad, but he was based in Cornwall. We got married four years later after he completed two years in the Army.”

The couple married at St Andrew’s Church in Plaistow on March 28, 1953 and lived in Plaistow before moving to Havering.


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Janet worked as a dress maker until she had their first child, Janice. When she returned to work she worked as a canteen assistant at McCarthy’s, Keddies in Romford Market, and Roomes in Upminster.

Charlie worked as a telephone operator and was a supervisor for Romford Telephone Exchange.

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They have three children, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Janet said the secret to their long and happy marriage was understanding and communication.

She said: “It’s about pulling together and just being good friends, agreeing and always talking things through. If you are making any decisions, talk them through first. And it’s important to not only understand each other, but listen to each other too.”

They celebrated their anniversary at the Shepherd and Dog with their close family.

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