Sixty happy years of village life for Swinstead couple Peter and Elsie

Original wedding photo, Peter and Elsie Kiely.
Original wedding photo, Peter and Elsie Kiely.

Village life is truly important to Peter and Elsie Kiely, who have spent all 60 years of their married life in Swinstead.

Elsie is ingrained within the community even more so as she has lived there all her life, making her the person other villagers make a beeline for if they want to know any gossip!

It was 60 years yesterday (Thursday) that the happy couple were wed, in the village’s St Mary’s Church. A reception for around 30 people followed in the village hall and then a honeymoon in Haslemere, Surrey.

Peter remembers their wedding day as being very cold - and can still picture his bride shivering her way down the aisle.

They wed several years after meeting for the first time. Peter, then aged 21, had cycled with friends to Swinstead from Castle Bytham where he lived. They were on the look-out for young ladies - and Peter fund one in 17-year-old Elsie. They courted and then got engaged on Elsie’s 21st birthday.

At the time, she served a family living in Stamford and had done so since leaving school at 14. She continued until having their son Peter in 1957.

Meanwhile, Peter spent three years in the Army, training national servicemen at a camp in Lincoln. A career as a steel merchant, with him eventually working for Arraquip Steel in Grantham’s Withambrook Industrial Estate. In fact, he did so right up until August last year when he reitred from part-time work aged 84.

As well as a passion for his work, Peter has enjoyed playing many sports over the years, particularly for Castle Bytham teams. He played football and cricket, and also refereed and umpired in both sports.

Elsie enjoys whist and writing for the Jouranl as a village correspondent.

The pair have enjoyed a wonderful life together. They have a son, two daughters, six grandchildren and a great-granddaughters.

On what they believe is a recipe for a successful marriage, Elsie said: “Give and take. We have arguments, and anyone that says they never fall out or say a wrong word is a liar.”

Peter added: “We have differences of opinion. I like watching football on TV and Elsie doesn’t.”