Bexley couple celebrate 70th wedding anniversary

PUBLISHED: 11:05 27 June 2012

George and Nel Yates

George and Nel Yates


A Bexley couple celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary and let on the simple secrets of a successful marriage.

George and Nel Yates, both 90, got married 70 years ago during the Second World War when it looked like George was going to go to battle with the RAF.

Mr Yates said: “I don’t feel right giving other people advice on their relationships but the best thing I can say is there’s a lot of give and take involved in a long marriage.

“Maybe I did more giving than taking at one point but I learnt better of it. The more time you spend with another person the more you appreciate it.”

They were both born and raised in Bermondsey, south-east London, before moving to Bexleyheath in 1956.

Mr Yates, who worked in Covent Garden Market before his retirement, moved to Elmington Close in Bexley with his wife, who forged a career as a hat maker, in 1980. They have lived there ever since.

He said: “Our wedding was very simple, but then so was everyone’s back in those days.

“My father worked in a brewery so we got all the beer at cost price and my wife’s family owned fruit and veg stores in Bermondsey so that sorted out the food.

“My wife insisted I only married her for her money, but she only had about £36 to her name although I’m not sure how much that would be in modern money.”

The couple celebrated the special day last Wednesday (June 20) by spending the day together and reflecting on the years they have spent as husband and wife.

They have two children: Pat Crocker, who is 64, and Andrew Yates, who is 61. In turn, they have five grandchildren and seven grandchildren.

Mrs Crocker said: “It’s amazing that they’ve been married so long. The Bexley Times covered their 60th anniversary and I can’t believe that was 10 years ago. Hopefully there will be another one after this!”

Mr Yates said: “Although we were born in south-east London, we feel like Kentish people. We’re delighted to celebrate another decade together.”

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