Couple’s anniversary chimes with borough

Jackie and David Bailey on their wedding day on April 1 1965

Jackie and David Bailey on their wedding day on April 1 1965 - Credit: Archant

Collapsing into fits of giggles, you would think this couple are newlyweds rather than celebrating 50 years of marriage.

But not only did David and Jackie Bailey celebrate their golden anniversary yesterday, they are also commemorating the fact they were the first couple to be married in Newham.

The area has a long history but was only named Newham in 1965 after the former boroughs of East Ham and West Ham were merged – and the Baileys were the first through the doors on April 1, 1965.

However their reasons for making the history books turned out to be more practical than anything.

“We were living in East Ham at the time and it was the first date we could get at the register office,” said Jackie.

The pair enjoyed their first date at the Cherry Tree pub in Dagenham in 1963, followed by numerous rendezvous at their favourite Chinese restaurant, Chans, in Manor Park, before getting hitched at East Ham register office.

“I’m in shock that it’s been 50 years. It feels like yesterday that we got married,” said David, who added cheekily: “But if it was yesterday, I wouldn’t have got married.”

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Showing why the couple have stood the test of time, the former plasterer quickly added: “I have the best girl in the world.”

The couple have two children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren and say that family is everything to them.

“We aren’t into big parties – we will just be having some of the family round on the day,” they said of their anniversary plans.

Asked what has kept them together all these years, Jackie said: “Give and take, compromise and share what you have. We’re very lucky to have stood the test of time.”

Proving humour is a vital ingredient in any happy marriage, David adds: “I’m all give, she’s all take.”

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