Withycombe couple celebrate milestone anniversary

Withycombe Raleigh couple Jim and Maggie Beed have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with family and friends after being married 50 years.

Jim and Marguerite (Maggie) Beed, of Lyndhurst Road, married 50 years ago in Nottingham after meeting on holiday in Wales.

The pair celebrated their milestone anniversary with a trip up the River Exe on Stuart Line cruises, where at Topsham Jim pointed out to guests, and best ma, Ian Davies, from Exmouth, the phone box where he used to call Maggie when the couple was courting.

The pair, who have four children, said shared and separate interests, tolerance and give and take were the success of their long marriage.

Pensioner Jim said: “You have to get through the bad times when things go wrong. These days they reach for the divorce lawyers as soon as things go wrong.

“You look back over our marriage and remember the good times and when you think about the bad times, you think ‘we have survived them’.

“If it hadn’t been for her [Maggie], I would probably be living in a cardboard box. She’s always been very good managing any money we’ve had, which helps a lot.

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Maggie said: “We have got different interests but we have got a lot of interests in common too. You need your own interests too.”

The couple met when Jim, from East Devon, was 19 and Maggie, from Nottingham, was still a schoolgirl.

The long-distance relationship blossomed and soon Jim could be found regularly phoning Maggie - feeding tuppences into the phone box at the bottom of Shapter Street, in Topsham, where he lived.

The grandparents-of-nine now have a painting of the phone box in their home as a memento of their courtship.

After the couple married, they honeymooned at the Common Cold Research Center, in Salisbury.

During their time together the couple have ‘squelched’ along the West Highland way, scaled Mont Blanc, they regularly cycle and camp in France and are active members of the Casualty Union.