Sheffield couple share the secret to 70 years' of married bliss

Kenneth and Trudy Ashton
Kenneth and Trudy Ashton

It’s five special words that have kept the unbreakable bond between Kenneth and Trudy Ashton together as a married couple for 70 years.

It’s five special words that have kept the unbreakable bond between Kenneth and Trudy Ashton together as a married couple for 70 years.

Kenneth and Trudy on their wedding day in 1947

Kenneth and Trudy on their wedding day in 1947

The pair, every night before they go to sleep, say ‘goodnight, God bless, love you’.

It’s been a ritual of sorts for the Waterthorpe couple, who first met in the Elliot’s pub in Broomhall in 1947 as Kenneth celebrated his belated 21st birthday while on leave from the army.

“She walked in with another bloke but she left with me so I must’ve done something right!” Kenneth said.

But the meeting may never have happened as Kenneth dodged bombs and bullets from Nazi troops during his time serving in Italy during World War Two and even survived a shell blast saved only by the tyre he was next to.

On his return from overseas, the pair married on April 5, 1947 at St Silas Church in Broomhall. Still feeling the after-effects of war, Kenneth said people saved up ration stamps so there

could be a decent spread of food after the ceremony.

The couple went on have two children, five grandchildren and then nine great-grandchildren.

Kenneth, 94, paid tribute to his wife and revealed his secret to married life.

“Always try and make time and plan to go out together and have a bit of fun and if you have an argument, don’t go to bed on bad terms. Always smooth it out before getting your head down.”

Trudy, 90, who battled cancer around eight years ago, was told by doctors she wouldn’t live past two years unless she had an operation which took her out of action for several weeks.

“She’s the strongest person I know,” Kenneth said.

“We got through that and it made us stronger. I call her wonder woman.

“She will do anything to help anyone – look out for the neighbours, bake cakes if people are ill, just little things like that. She’s very special.”

Kenneth, a lifelong Sheffield United fan, has watched the Blades for over 90 years. He was invited with Trudy to spend the evening with chairman Kevin McCabe in the directors box against Coventry City on the day of their anniversary.

“It was absolutely incredible. We had a lovely meal with the chairman and the Lord Mayor and we got to see Sheffield United come out on top. They treated us like royalty. It was an amazing evening.”