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Country's oldest married couple celebrate 77-years

PHYLLIS and Ralph Tarrant are the country's oldest married couple - and they're still as devoted to each other as ever!

The pair have been married for a marvellous 77 years, and still live independently in their home in Broomhill, Sheffield.

Ralph is an incredible 107 years old, having just celebrated his latest birthday, while Phyllis is a comparative spring chicken at 101.

But despite the couple's amazing combined age of 208 they are determined to keep active, and can still be seen out and about on shopping trips and at lunch clubs, while Phyllis attends services at St Mark's Church, Broomhill, every Sunday.

Ralph said he and Phyllis are very excited about reaching their two milestones - his birthday, and another wedding anniversary.

"It's still exciting when the Queen's card comes, even though I have eight now and Phyllis has two!" he said.

"I had a really lovely birthday, with lots of visitors. We've had a nice anniversary too with some beautiful flowers, which was a nice surprise."

Phyllis was born on Slinn Street, Crookes, and later worked as chief typist at Hadfield's steel mill in Tinsley. A talented pianist and opera fan, she is also an active member of the St Mark's lunch club, which meets every Wednesday afternoon.

Ralph is originally from Nottingham, and moved to Sheffield with his family aged seven. He left school a year early, aged 13, starting work as an office boy at George Turton Platt steelworks.

He was a keen sportsman in his youth, taking part in football, gymnastics and running.At work he moved round different departments, taking on roles as an estimator and steel inspector before eventually selling insurance with Refuge Assurance until his retirement - 42 years ago - in 1968.

During the war he served in the RAF with 201 Coastal Command, as a corporal based in Inverness, Scotland.

The couple met in 1922, and married in Crookes on July 8, 1933. They have two daughters, Brenda and Christine, seven grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and another on the way, and one great-great grandchild.

In their long retirement Ralph and Phyllis have holidayed around the world, visiting America eight times.

"We get out when we can, going to lunch clubs and shopping most weeks," Ralph said. "We are still very independent and enjoy life."

On his 100th birthday, Ralph's family presented him with his very own This Is Your Life album, telling the story of all his achievements to date.

Phyllis put the secret of their long-lasting marriage and relationship down to "getting on with each other, a good diet, exercise, avoiding cigarettes - and a tot of whisky each night".

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