Ramsgate couple Betty and Fred Sykes celebrate 65 years of marriage

Betty and Fred first met at the Odeon Cinema in Ramsgate

When 15-year-old Betty Clark first met Fred Sykes, 17, at the Odeon Cinema in Ramsgate he proceeded to help himself to most of her marshmallows.

Some 69 years later the pair are still together and today (March 3) they celebrate their 65th (blue sapphire) wedding anniversary.

Betty had been at the cinema with a pal when Fred turned up with his younger brother – someone the girls knew from school.

It was the start of a life-long love affair, with Fred and Betty’s first real date being a walk on Ramsgate seafront. Two years later they were engaged and the pair got married on March 3, 1956, at Christ Church when Betty was 19 and Fred was 21.

Fred, now 86, was a miner whose family had been living in Aylesham before the move to Ramsgate and Betty went on to work at Cavey’s grocery shop in Grange Road – next to the former Penns wet fish shop.

The couple, who live on the West Cliff, now have three children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Betty, 84, said of first meeting Fred: “We must have liked each other and it carried on from there. I had marshmallows and he pinched them all!”

The couple who, pre-covid, enjoy bingo at the Red Arrows Club and trips to destinations from Blackpool to Australia and Denmark, will mark their day with a special tea made by their daughter but are planning a big family get-together meal when restrictions are lifted.

And the secret to their 65 years of marriage? Betty said: “You have always got to give and take and you have to talk to each other.”

Covid restrictions mean the entire family will not be able to celebrate on together today. Betty said: “We are a big family and we all get on and mix together which is something we really miss at the moment. When we can we will probably all have a big family meal together to celebrate.”


  1. Congratulations to you and well done. Good advice give and take and communicate is good in any relationship. We are coming up to our 50th.

  2. Congratulations to Betty & Fred for their livelong Love & Partnership.
    What a pity the Ocean Cinema is sadly long gone. Ramsgate was such a great Evening place to be in those far off
    days. Happy Memories.🤗🤗

  3. Congratulations Fred and Betty on 65 years of marriage, I remember you both from the Red Arrow club playing bingo with my Mum and Dad
    Enjoy your day and look forward to that big family celebration xx

  4. Congratulations to Fred and Betty , hope you can all. Celebrate soon with your lovely family xx

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