South Yorkshire woman's hoover still going strong after five decades - and has lasted longer than her marriage

Val Marks purchased a refurbished Hoover Junior 1334A when she was setting up home as a newleywed back in 1965.
Val Marks purchased a refurbished Hoover Junior 1334A when she was setting up home as a newleywed back in 1965.
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A South Yorkshire woman who bought a vacuum cleaner as a wedding gift to herself and new husband is still using it 51 years later - which has lasted longer than her marriage.

Spritely Val Marks purchased a refurbished Hoover Junior 1334A when she was setting up home as a newleywed back in 1965.

Val does not agree with today's throwaway society and will not buy anything new if she has one that already works.

Val does not agree with today's throwaway society and will not buy anything new if she has one that already works.

But, while she split with her hubby in 1975, her trusty vacuum cleaner is still going strong over five decades on.

The 70-year-old, from Rotherham, South Yorks., said: "Sadly it wasn't happily ever after for me and my husband, but the Hoover has stood by me, no matter what."

Val does not agree with today's throwaway society and will not buy anything new if she has one that already works.

"Things were built to last back then," Val, a retired administration worker, said "so I find that a lot of my appliances have lasted a long while.

"I don't buy anything new unless I have to. I'd much rather save my money to spend on holidays."

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The vacuum cleaner was already second hand when Val, who has no children, bought a reconditioned Hoover Junior back in 1965 from Wigfalls electrical store on the high street of Rotherham.

The 54-year-old machine is a 1962 model and cost £20 back then - the equivalent of £420 today.

It was still expensive at the time and had to be bought 'on the tick'.

"You couldn't afford to pay things like that in full back then," she said. "You had to pay for these things in instalments".

The Hoover has never broken down and is still going strong. The only thing it needs is a bag change now and then - and fortunately these are still on sale.

The Hoover is an upright olive green model.

The model before it, the 1334, was the first in the UK to feature disposable paper bags.

Val, who has visited Gambia 24 times in ten years to make charity runs of clothing, shoes and spectacles, has moved three times, taking her Hoover with her each time.

It now lives in the bottom cupboard, that she calls her "dark hole", at the bottom of the stairs to her one-bed flat.

It is used to clean up the small porch area at the entrance of her flat.

"There came a point when I needed to buy another vacuum to have one upstairs and one downstairs because this is fairly heavy and I couldn't lug this up the stairs anymore," she said.

"I do the stairs with an old-fashioned brush, I find it easier."

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While Val was buying her first Hoover, elsewhere in the UK, 1965 was the year that Winston Churchill died and the Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs escaped from prison.

The Rolling Stones released I Can't Get No Satisfaction and Thunderbirds and The Magic Roundabout first aired on TV.

Evil duo Ian Brady and Moira Hindley were arrested and their horrific murder crimes came to light and Mary Quant introduced the miniskirt.

Val said: "It's a shame because when I go somebody will just throw this away when it works perfectly well.

"Hopefully the local museum will take it."