DEVOTED couple John and Jessie Simpson are celebrating an amazing 70 years of wedded bliss.
The couple’s eyes first met in Fellas ice cream parlour in 1941, and seven decades later they are still together.
The Queen was among those wishing them congratulations in a special card sent to mark the couple’s Platinum anniversary.
Jessie, 93, said: “He’s a good man and a lovely man. I wish I could have all those years back with him again.”
She added: “It’s wonderful to have everyone with us celebrating, and the card from the Queen is lovely.
“This is the second one we’ve had, we got one on our 60th as well.”
The couple celebrated with family and residents of Marquis Court, Tunstall Village Road, where John now lives.
Jessie said she knew John, also 93, through his sister before the couple began courting.
“I was in the ice cream parlour at the bottom of Silksworth Road bank with my friends, and they said ‘there’s a young man over there looking at you’.
“I looked up and said ‘oh, it’s John Simpson.”
Jessie agreed to start going out with John on the condition he wrote to her first, and the couple exchanged letters.
They married in October that year in St Mark’s Church, Silksworth. John served with the Army in Palestine, and went to work at Pyrex when he was demobbed.
But he didn’t enjoy work at the glass factory and had a number of jobs, including working at a number of pubs in the town.
The couple had two children, Dorothy, 64, who now lives in Manchester, and John, 57, who works as a collector for the Echo.
They have two grandchildren, Susan, 47, and Alison, 41, and three great-grandchildren, Stephen, 30, Joshua, 19, and Jacob, 16.
Dorothy said: “I think it’s marvellous that they’re celebrating 70 years together, absolutely marvellous.”
* Childhood sweethearts John and Lily Hall, from Chester-le-Street, are also celebrating 70 years of marriage.
They wed in October 1941, when John was granted seven days’ leave from his post with the Royal Engineers during the Second World War.
The couple met when they were aged 11 and 12 at Pelton Holy Trinity Church in County Durham.
John, 92, and Lilly, 91, have two daughters, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
John said: “I thought Lilly was beautiful so I asked her to marry me. I’d always known she was the woman I would marry.”