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Sheffield couple are steel together after 74 years of marriage

Jack and Nellie Strutt celebrating their 74th wedding anniversary.

Jack and Nellie Strutt celebrating their 74th wedding anniversary.

 

A Woman of Steel has been celebrating her wedding anniversary – as one half of what is thought to be Sheffield’s longest married couple.

Nellie and Jack Strutt celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary surrounded by their friends at their home in Chapeltown.

However, despite the couple’s combined age of 190, they are determined to keep active and are still as devoted to each other as ever.

According to Nellie, who at the age of 92 is a comparative youngster compared to 98-year-old Jack, their secret to a long-lasting marriage is ‘a bit of give and take’.

She said: “You have to have a bit of give and take.

“I also believe in having the same purse. It’s not his and yours, it’s both of yours together. That’s what makes us work.

“We like to keep active. Some people just sit around feeling sorry for themselves.

“I walk down to Chapeltown every day to
 get The Star and to put Jack’s bets on at the bookmakers.

“I also like line dancing and whenever there is a holiday we’re organising a party here.”

The couple were introduced by their families and married at St Mary’s Church, Bramall Lane, Highfield, on August 13, 1940 – several days after their planned wedding date.

Nellie said: “We were meant to get married on the Saturday, but Jack’s leave was stopped.

“We ended up getting married on the Tuesday instead.

“We had three weeks together before Jack went to fight in Burma for five years.”

As a married woman Nelly, then aged 18, was not allowed to continue her job at the Bassett’s confectionery factory, and went to become a Woman of Steel, working at English Steel, in Attercliffe.

After World War Two, Jack went on to work as a steel erector travelling around the country and Nellie became a home help.

The couple have three sons, Michael and Robert, who both live in Sheffield, and Ian – who emigrated to Australia 30 years ago – five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

After they retired, the couple moved to Blackpool for 20 years and enjoyed going for walks and going on holidays.

They have been to Australia five times to see their family, but doubt they will return because, Jack said: “It’s too hot for me and everything bites!”

The couple returned to Sheffield when Jack suffered a heart attack and have lived in their current flat for 11 years.

Nellie said: “We’ve got 
another card from the 
Queen for our anniversary. We’ve got seven now, it’s quite a collection.”

Sheffield’s previous longest married couple were Phyllis and Ralph Tarrant.

The couple met in 1922, and married in Crookes on July 8, 1933.

The pair had been married for 79 years and lived independently at their home in Broomhill until Phyllis passed away in 2011, aged 102.

Ralph went on to become Britain’s oldest man before his death in November, aged 110.

Speaking to The Star on their 77th wedding anniversary, Phyllis put their long-lasting marriage down to ‘getting on with each other, a good diet, exercise, avoiding cigarettes – and a tot of whisky each night’.

Britain’s longest married couple are Karam Chand and Katari, who celebrated their 88th wedding anniversary in December last year.

Karam, aged 108, and his wife Katari, 101, were married in India at a Sikh ceremony on December 11, 1925 when the country was under British rule, making them the UK’s longest married couple.

The couple moved to Bradford in 1965 and have eight children, 27 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

 

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