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Surprise renewal of marriage vows for 50th wedding anniversary

Cambridgeshire golden couple Adrian and Jenny celebrated 50 happy years of marriage by renewing their vows at Ely Registration Office last weekend.

Cambridgeshire golden couple Adrian and Jenny celebrated 50 happy years of marriage by renewing their vows at Ely Registration Office last weekend.

The couple met in Birmingham in 1966 and originally tied the knot half a century ago at Cambridge Registration Office in September 1968.

Adrian of Cherry Hinton, Cambridge, initially arranged the renewal of vows as a surprise for his wife Jenny, but decided to let her in on his plans a few weeks ago as he didn’t want it to be too much of a shock on the day.

Adrian told us: “When I first thought of renewing our vows after 50 years I did not think it was that unusual, and I never dreamed that anybody would be at all interested.

“I first met Jenny in 1966. It was the time of ‘Flower Power’ and ‘hippies’ and like many other kids at the time I had decided to grow my hair, get a sleeping bag and hitch-hike around England with no worries.

“On one of these hitch-hiking adventures my friend and I decided to travel up to Birmingham and while I was there I met Jenny.

“It was in the old Bull Ring Shopping Centre - I asked her for some money to make a phone call and that was it. 50 years later and I have never paid her that phone call money back!”

Adrian returned to Cambridge after about a month and kept in contact with Jenny. One day there was a knock on his parents’ door and there she was - Jenny had come down to Cambridge for the weekend to visit, and never really went back!

Adrian continued: “We lived with my parents and then finally got married in 1968. I was 19 and she was 18. We got married at Cambridge Register Office on 7 September and afterwards went back to my parents’ house with about 10 close friends.

“Being young when we got married we did not worry about taking photos. We went on to have two lovely children, Tracy and Balyn, and two wonderful grandchildren Tyler and Kyle. We are very proud of them and they have given us much happiness over the years.”

Adrian and Jenny put their name on the council waiting list for a house while living with his parents, and finally got a house in Cherry Hinton.

Daughter Tracy, who was one of the ceremony guests said in her speech: “50 years WOW! Two truly amazing people who I am proud to call my Mum and Dad - truly unique parents and amazing grandparents and we cannot thank you enough for all you have both done for us all.”

To celebrate over half a century together, the happy couple are taking a second honeymoon to Spain.

Registration Service Manager, Louise Clover said “We always welcome vow renewal ceremonies, and love to hear from couples who originally got married in Cambridgeshire and are choosing to renew their vows with us.

“It’s not often we get surprise ceremonies booked in, so we were very excited to meet the couple on the day and try and find out what their secret to a long and happy marriage is!

“We would like to congratulate Adrian and Jenny on reaching this milestone and wish them many more happy years together.”

As well as the renewal of vow, marriage and civil partnership ceremonies the Registration Service can also provide naming ceremonies to celebrate the birth of a child welcome an adopted child into a family or bring two families together after a couple marry.

All ceremonies can be held in Council ceremony rooms or other Approved Premises and have no religious content.  More details, helpful videos and online booking forms can be found on the Council’s ceremonies website

Ely Registration Office will be moving to the new Cambridgeshire Archives Centre, Angel Drove in Ely, from autumn 2019. Ceremony bookings up to 31 July 2019 will be at the current office and ceremony bookings from 1 September 2019 will be at the new office.  For ceremonies in August 2019, please email [email protected]  

The move will increase the availability of Registration Service appointments for births, deaths and notices from three to five days per week.


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