A KENNINGTON couple today celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.

Family and friends joined Ron and Sybil Belcher at their two-bedroomed bungalow in The Avenue, where they have lived for the past 40 years.

“Patience and tolerance” was 96-year-old Mrs Belcher’s advice for young married couples.

She said: “Of course we have had a few arguments over the years but we always sort it out — I am a very good listener.”

Mr Belcher, still a keen gardener at 97, said husband and wife should stay mobile for as long as possible.

He said: “We were still dancing at the town hall in Oxford until we were in our eighties and I still play bowls when I can at Florence Park.”

Three years ago, Mr and Mrs Belcher attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace as guests of the Not-Forgotten Association, an organisation helping ex-servicemen and women.

Mrs Belcher, who was born in Banbury but moved to Oxford with her family as a baby, met Oxford-born Mr Belcher about 80 years ago.

They were married at St John’s church, New Hinksey, Oxford, and lived in Iffley Road, Oxford, before moving to Kennington.

Mr Belcher left school at 15 to join Greening & Co, the Cowley cabinet makers.

During the Second World War, he served in Northern Ireland and north-west Europe before returning to Greenings, where he worked a total of 27 years. Later, he was a handyman at Trinity College, Oxford, for 25 years.

Mrs Belcher said: “I have done a lot of voluntary work over the years, including Meals on Wheels and reading for the blind.”

The couple have three sons, Peter, 73, Michael, 70, and Antony, 67, seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Mr Belcher said: “We have been very happy here. It’s a happy village and people are very kind.”