Letchworth couple celebrate diamond wedding anniversary more than 65 years after chance meeting in Stotfold
PUBLISHED: 20:43 31 January 2016 | UPDATED: 20:43 31 January 2016
A couple from Letchworth have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary this week, and it all began at a chance meeting at Stotfold fair over 65 years ago.
Alan Cooper, 83, met Marion in 1949 when she went up to him with a friend to ask for a favour.
Marion said: “My friend and I had been playing tennis when we decided to go to the fair, she had her little dog with her so we asked Alan if he could watch it for us while we went on the jollity farm.”
A couple of years went by before they met again on a Saturday night out among the music and dancing at Hitchin Priory Fete - they began courting shortly after.
Their time was cut short when, in 1953 Alan was posted out to Hong Kong on two years of national service.
“We have two shoeboxes of the letters we wrote to eachother. I used to go out as we weren’t engaged at that point but when he came home I saw him and he looked so nice - that’s when I knew we had something special,” 82-year-old Marion said.
In 1956 they we’re married, a year after Alan returned from a clothes-shopping trip with an engagement ring.
The ceremony took place on January 21, 1956 in Letchworth Free Church with their fathers splitting the bill.
“I’m not sure how much the wedding was because they shared the cost, we were very lucky. My dress and the bridesmaid’s dresses were made by a lady on Bedford Road and my cousins Joan and Maureen and my friend Pamela were bridesmaids.”
Following their honeymoon at Butlins in Saltdean, the newlyweds lived in a mobile home on The Grange and moved to a house in Gaunts Way 48 years ago where they have remained ever since.
Alan worked at Vernon Tool and Gauging in Hitchin, progressing from fitter to quality control manager, while Marion worked in accounts at ICL in Letchworth.
They have a close-knit family with their two children, Cheryl who’s married to Ian and David and his wife Claire, and five grandchildren who are all between nine and 19 years old.
As well as enjoying cruises around the world and swimming activities together, Marion has been a familiar face with community groups in Letchworth for over 50 years, including Grange Wives and the Bowls Club where she regularly went with Alan.
“I do need Alan to go shopping with me now, because I find it difficult to walk but we get about, we help eachother out.
The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Chesfield Downs in Graveley with a big bash.
“We went bananas! There was party with a disco and lots of people came, including our bridemaids from the wedding and people from the Bowls Club.”
This time around they opted for a quieter occasion, with a party at son David’s home on Saturday for their nearest and dearest - with the highlight of the day being a card from the Queen.
So the secret to a happy marriage? According to Marion it is to always try to be kind and look after eachother.
“It’s best to listen to eachother before you have a row, and if we do bicker we usually agree in the end,” she added.