WHEN Syd and Vera Cain wed 70 years ago, their guest list was restricted by how much food their wartime ration book would allow.
But now the Fulwell couple have celebrated in style after marking their platinum anniversary.
The pair tied the knot at St Gabriel’s Church, in Bishopwearmouth, on May 16, 1942.
One child, one grandchild and one great-grandchild later and Syd and Vera are still very much at the centre of a close family.
Son-in-law Malcolm Crone says everyone is delighted for them and is looking forward to the platinum anniversary celebrations.
He joked: “I call it a triple life sentence.”
Syd, 97, had his first job at Consett Iron Works in 1939 and worked as an engineer while 91-year-old Vera spent her working days in retail.
Now a keen bridge player, Vera still remembers her special day. She said: “We had a lovely day weather wise. We were restricted because rationing was on, but my dear mother Maria managed to get me a three-tier cake.
“I was the youngest of four daughters and the last to marry and she was determined I would have just as good a day as my sisters.”
A notice appeared in the Echo on the day, announcing the couple had wed. It said: “The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a gown of white watered taffeta with coronet and veil and carried a bouquet of tea roses.”
There was a trip down memory lane for the couple two weeks ago when they returned to St Gabriel’s Church for its centenary celebrations. The church had invited all of the couples married there to return and renew their vows, of whom Syd and Vera were the oldest.
“It was a lovely morning,” said Vera. “I have always been close to the church so it felt like going home.”
Vera, who says playing bridge helps keep her mind active, believes couples today often do not have what it takes to last as long in a relationship.
She said: “You face things together, no life is perfect and you have your ups and downs, but we have faced them together.
“Tolerance is definitely one of the main things and I don’t know if the younger generation have that.”
News from big day
On the couple’s wedding day in 1942, war was the only story. The Echo’s front page read ‘RUSSIANS REPORTED IN KHARKOV’, saying that the great battle zone of Eastern Europe had widened.
There was controversy as the Government announced it had been holding back food in the event of supplies being cut off. Lord Woolton, Minister for Food, said: “I have been doing what the ordinary thrifty housewife does.”
Also in the Echo was a helpful guide to how you could improve the manners of your dog.
Football had been suspended as war raged. However, Sunderland did take part in the Football League War Cup, which they lost over two legs to Wolves.