People: Marriage that has lasted for 75 years

Susie Currie
Wednesday 20 August 1997 00:02 BST

A retired steelworker and his wife - thought to be longest-married couple in the country - celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary yesterday.

Ninety-nine-year-old Tom Blacker and his wife Rene, 97, of Thrybergh, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, marked the occasion with a party for their family, which spans five generations.

The year that Mr and Mrs Blacker were married, 1922, saw the birth of the Irish Free State and of the BBC. The Irish Nationalist leader Michael Collins was shot and killed while the Blackers were on their honeymoon in Whitby.

They had one son, Peter - now aged 74 - and their family includes 15 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

The couple (pictured above) are believed to be Britain's oldest married couple, and their celebration yesterday brings them within seven years of the record for a UK marriage held by James and Sarah Ann Burgess of Bermondsey, south London, who were married for 82 years. Mrs Burgess died in 1965 aged 100.

The longest marriage on record lasted 86 years until 1940, between Sir Temulji Bhicaji Nariman and Lady Nariman of Bombay, India. They were married at the age of five.

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