Heartsease couple who met at friends’ wedding celebrate 60 years of marriage

Heartsease Diamond Wedding couple Bert and Jackie Lofty. Photo: Steve Adams Heartsease Diamond Wedding couple Bert and Jackie Lofty. Photo: Steve Adams

Thursday, April 3, 2014
10:00 AM

They met at the wedding of two of their friends, and today they are celebrating a special occasion of their own – their 60th wedding anniversary.

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Heartsease Diamond Wedding couple Bert and Jackie Lofty. Photo: Steve AdamsHeartsease Diamond Wedding couple Bert and Jackie Lofty. Photo: Steve Adams

The omens may not have seemed good on March 21, 1952, when Bert Lofty first saw his bride to be, Jackie.

She had just split up from her boyfriend, and did not want another, and Bert said she was rude to him.

Nevertheless, the pair met the following Monday, Wednesday and Saturday – on each occasion watching The Glenn Miller Story at the Odeon.

They married on April 3, 1954, despite Bert arriving late because his best man’s car suffered a puncture, and celebrated late into the night, with a reception at the Spread Eagle in Sussex Street, before moving to Jackie’s mother’s house, and not walking back to Mile Cross until 5.30am.

Mr Lofty, now 83, worked for RG Carter from the age of 14 to 65, first as a carpenter and finally retiring as a site agent, and completed his national service in the RAF, while Mrs Lofty, now 80, stayed at home and did occasional fruit picking.

The couple had six sons, John, Martin, twins Peter and David, Mark and Alan, although John died in 2001, followed by Martin in 2009.

They have 16 grandchildren, and 32 great-grandchildren. and lived in their Gawdy Road home in Heartsease since 1957.

Asked the secret of their long marriage, Mr Lofty said: “When we have had problems, we can sit down and sort them out.”

Mrs Lofty echoed his advice, adding: “Talk to each other. If there’s a problem, try to sort it out. Don’t go off in a huff.”

She said since their 25th anniversary, the years have flown by, and as she remembers the events throughout their many years together they seem as if they happened yesterday.

Since Mr Lofty’s retirement, the couple have enjoyed 12 cruises, sometimes accompanied by family members.

They also camp every year with family.

They will celebrate tonight with a meal with close family, and are looking forward to a celebration with 150-200 family and friends on Saturday, including some from Mr Lofty’s RAF days and their cruises.

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