A lot has changed since 1952, from great technological advances to social and political progress, but for one Croydon couple one thing has remained constant.
Jean, 92, and Frank Brooks, 95, are the perfect example of a generation that knew how to make things last as they celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary.
Not only has their love for each other stood the test of time, but so has the Hoover they received at the time of their wedding.
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Jean and Frank Brooks had the same hoover for 69 years
(Image: Jean and Frank Brooks)
Until just this year the Croydon couple had still been using the same Hoover they received at the time of their wedding 69 years ago.
In such a throwaway age it is hard to imagine having anything last so long, but for Jean and Frank it was always important to look after the things they had.
The couple’s cute story is a reminder of the importance of looking after the things you have to ensure they last – something they have successfully done with both their belongings and their marriage.
Chatting to My London, Jean explained: “We look after our things. We don’t throw anything away unless it’s kaput.”
Speaking on the wasteful culture that dominates society now, Jean said: “It’s very much a throw away age”, before she added “It’s dreadful really.”
Jean spoke of how items back then were “made to last”, and prides herself on the 69 years they kept their old Hoover.
“It’s been very faithful and it’s done so well. I can’t bear to throw it away,” she said.
The couple had previously bought replacement parts when they broke, but have struggled to find the right pieces this time around.
“Our son has now bought us a Henry Hoover as a replacement,” Jean said.
When asked what else they have that’s lasted so long: “Only us”, shouted Frank.
“We also still use the teapot that our grandmother gave us as a wedding present. We use it everyday for breakfast and lunch,” Jean revealed.
Not only do the couple know how to make their belongings survive the test of time, but the long-term couple’s marriage is as strong as ever.
The couple, who have a son and a daughter, met when they both worked in the same place in Oxford Circus.
Jean told of how they used to walk from Charing Cross to Oxford Circus every day and gradually they just met.
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When asked what the secret is to a long, successful marriage, Jean said: “I can’t say we’ve ever had a real argument or anything.
“We’ve had a very happy life and a very active life until the last few years. Now neither of us can walk which we find very irritating.
“We’ve had lots of lovely holidays, we used to like going cruising but we can’t do that any more.”
Now the couple spend their days mostly at home together appreciating their lifetime of enjoyable memories.
“We’ve got lots of happy memories,” Jean said. “We have to live on our memories now, and think about what we used to be able to do and can’t do now.”
“We appreciate having each other more than anything. I don’t think either of us could manage without the other now.”
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