50 years ago that Ronald and Sheila married in secret

Sheila and Ronald McKue of Spalding celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary after marrying at Gretna Green. Photo: SG190712-122TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
Sheila and Ronald McKue of Spalding celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary after marrying at Gretna Green. Photo: SG190712-122TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
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THEY said it would never last – but a couple who eloped to Gretna Green to tie the knot have proved them wrong as they prepare for their 50th anniversary.

Sheila Giddings was just 14 when she met and fell in love with Ronald McKue, but it wasn’t until four years later when he returned from National Service the couple met again.

*Sheila and Ronald McKue of Spalding 50th wedding anniversary after marrying at Gretna Green.

*Sheila and Ronald McKue of Spalding 50th wedding anniversary after marrying at Gretna Green.

But 18-year-old Sheila’s parents were against the couple seeing each other, so they met in secret.

Their secret trysts went on for just three months before the lovestruck youngsters decided to pack their bags and head over the border to Scotland where they were allowed to wed without parental consent.

Sheila said: “We hitchhiked to Gretna Green and we tried to throw my parents off the scent by sending a postcard from Dundee, but by the time we got back the story had been in the local paper, so they knew all about it.

“They thought I was too young to get married and they didn’t really like Ronald much.

“Like all parents they didn’t think anyone was good enough for me.

“But they did get to like him in the end and thought quite a lot of him.”

Sheila (68) and Ronald (73), of Bowditch Road, Spalding, went on to have three children, now grown up. Their wedding anniversary is on July 31.

Sheila said: “They thought it wouldn’t last but although we’ve had our ups and downs we are still going strong.”