A FORMER Echo editor has celebrated his 65th wedding anniversary in Southend.

Jim Worsdale, 85, edited the Echo for many years, beginning in the 1970s, but before that, he married his wife Beryl, at the age of 21 at St Peter’s Church in Thundersley.

The couple first met when Jim was reporting on a sports day at Hadleigh School for the Southend Standard, where Beryl, also 85, was secretary.

The ceremony was followed by a turkey lunch at Beryl’s parents with a few family and friends and a sing-song around a piano, on top of which was a barrel of beer.

On Christmas Day 2018, the couple celebrated 65 years of marriage at the Polash restaurant in Shoebury.

On his wedding night, Jim and his new bride moved into rooms in Cheltenham Road, where they spent their first two years together.

The couple spent a number of years there, and also had a brief stint living in the USA, but their hearts were always firmly with Southend, and they ended up settling back there.

The restaurant where they celebrated their anniversary was the same Mr Worsdale reviewed for an Echo “taste test” back in the 1970s during his first years editing.

The couple were joined by their oldest son Alan with his two twins Amy and Adam.

After lunch, the family made contact with their younger son Paul, who lives in Florida, along with his wife, two children and two grandchildren. Jim and Beryl proudly showed their four grandchildren and two great grandchildren the card they had received from the Queen.

Son Alan said: “The original owner back then was also present for the anniversary.

“They had a lovely day.

“They’re both in reasonably good health and it was a pleasure to spend the special day with them.”