It’s a very happy new year for the Keffords!

Bill and Eileen Kefford
Bill and Eileen Kefford

A couple had extra reason to celebrate the new year on January 1 – as they marked their 70th wedding anniversary.

Bill and Eileen Kefford received a card from the Queen to go with their other messages of congratulation, on show at their Shefford home.

Eileen, 90, and Bill, 92 have previously featured in the Chronicle when they celebrated their 60th and 65th anniversaries.

The couple, of Clifton Road, married on January 1, 1944, while Bill was on leave from service in the Royal Armoured Corps during the Second World War.

He said: “I wasn’t granted any leave for around 15 months and when I did come home we didn’t know how long I would have, so we opted for New Year’s Day.”

Bill’s service during the Second World War proved to be a real test for the couple’s relationship, as they spent five years apart, only keeping in touch by letter.

Back in the UK Eileen was conscripted to Elstow Ordinance Factory, filling trench mortars with TNT powder.

After the war she was the first person to be employed at the Birches care home in Shefford, while Bill became a lecturer at the College of Technology in Letchworth.

The couple have always shared similar interests, including gardening and sequence dancing, as well as bowls.

Bill was a founder member of Shefford Bowls Club.

Eileen said: “We have always had the same hobbies, and the sequence dancing has been especially good for us.

“We learned a new kind of dance every week for some 50 years, which has helped to keep our minds in good shape!”

Eileen is also a lifelong Clifton Road resident – having lived in the road all her life, in three different houses located just yards apart.