Fifty years of laughter as couple mark anniversary

Janet and Cliff Wren.
Janet and Cliff Wren.

Laughter is the best medicine according to Bare couple Janet and Cliff Wren, who have just celebrated 50 years of happy marriage.

Janet and Cliff both grew up on Ryelands, meeting at Skerton High, which at the time was split for girls and boys.

Both leaving school at 15, Janet worked at K Shoes in Bulk Road while Cliff went to work at Standfast.

They started going out at 16 and married the day after Janet’s 20th birthday.

“I don’t actually remember him ever proposing,” Janet, 70, said.

“Everyone kept asking when we were getting married so we just thought we had better do it,” said Cliff, now 69.

“It took me about three months to pluck up courage to ask her dad. And then he said no because he thought we were too young.”

The pair married at St Chad’s Church on September 18 1965 – and celebrated with a day trip to Blackpool on the bus the next day.

Janet recalls: “I remember when we got on the bus I didn’t want anyone to know we had just got married – and Cliff put his hand in his pocket and some confetti fell out and I was so embarrassed.

“It rained so we went to the pictures and watched a cartoon and then came home.”

The couple moved into a house in Buller Street, Lancaster, which they eventually bought for £850.

Janet said: “It was a little two up two down with an outside toilet. The first thing we bought was a proper toilet.”

Janet and Cliff went on to have a daughter Julie, now 46, and a son Steven, 40. They have six grandchildren aged between seven and 25.

Janet said: “It feels like yesterday that we got married. I can’t believe 50 years has gone by. He still makes me laugh – I would have left him if not! It’s the best medicine.

“We have some really good laughs. Everything is so serious with some people, but you have to be able to laugh at each other and yourself.”

The couple are celebrating their anniversary with a party at Smokey O’Connor’s in Morecambe on October 2.