Ferring diamond duo in step for 60 years

After 60 years of marriage, Kathy and Malcolm Francis count themselves very lucky.

Kathy and Malcolm Francis are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Picture: Derek Martin DM18100483a
Kathy and Malcolm Francis are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Picture: Derek Martin DM18100483a

The couple have travelled a lot and lived in various places but much of their lives has been in this area.

Kathy, whose full name is Kathleen, said: “We are lucky to still be together and still be happy.”

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Malcolm added: “It doesn’t seem five minutes ago. We count ourselves very lucky.”

The couples wedding day, October 4, 1958

Kathy enjoys reading and sewing, while Malcolm loves gardening and collecting. He is also a classic car enthusiast and has owned three Jaguar E-Types over the years.

He said: “I wish I had one now!”

They both grew up in Littlehampton – Malcolm went to Connaught Road School and Kathy was at Maud Allen Secondary Modern.

They met in 1954 at the Pavilion dance hall, which was on the seafront green in Littlehampton until it was demolished in 1965, and went on to enjoy many a dance night together.

Kathy said: “We used to go to all the village hall dances in the area.”

The couple was married at St Mary’s Church in Littlehampton on October 5, 1958, and spent their honeymoon in Devon.

Malcolm was in engineering all his working life, retiring at 65, and Kathy trained as a nursery nurse, working in the role until she had her first child, Tracy.

In 1965, Malcolm was offered the opportunity to go to Canada and moved to Windsor, in Ontario, as he felt it was a good time to get out of the country.

Kathy followed later with Tracy and their second daughter, Carolyn, as it took nine months to sell the house, then their third child, Richard, was born out there.

Malcolm said: “I was earning more money than I had ever seen in this country.”

They came back after seven years for family reasons and set up home in Rustington.

Kathy said: “It was awful coming back. It was a different life out there. We had a lot of friends. Every weekend, you knew you could guarantee the weather, so we would go to the beach. We are glad now. The last 25 years have been lovely.”

The couple moved to Goring Hall in Worthing after some years, then returned to Rustington and lived in Shaftesbury Road for 19 years, before selling up to developers and moving to Cissbury Road in Ferring.

Malcolm worked for a number of companies, including Desoutter in Angmering and Valenite-Modco, and also had his own business for 14 years.

Sadly, Carolyn died suddenly from asthma at the age of 30. Kathy said doctors at the time did not even know you could die from the disease.

The couple have five grandchildren and one great-grandchild and celebrated their anniversary with family at Findon Manor Hotel on Sunday.