The day a young journalist met his match

PUBLISHED: 11:47 26 April 2007 | UPDATED: 11:49 06 May 2010

Richard and Wendy outside St Mary’s after their wedding on April 26, 1957

Richard and Wendy outside St Mary's after their wedding on April 26, 1957

CELEBRATIONS are in order for Richard Whitmore and his wife Wendy who celebrate their golden wedding anniversary today (Thursday). Mr Whitmore, the ex-BBC newsreader and author whose latest book is The Ghosts of Reginald Hine, married Wendy Vaughan at St

50 years on – the couple at St Mary’s before their golden wedding anniversary

CELEBRATIONS are in order for Richard Whitmore and his wife Wendy who celebrate their golden wedding anniversary today (Thursday).

Mr Whitmore, the ex-BBC newsreader and author whose latest book is The Ghosts of Reginald Hine, married Wendy Vaughan at St Mary's Church in Hitchin on April 26, 1957.

It is the same church for which the couple were recently involved in a £300,000 restoration appeal.

Mr Whitmore, 73, met his wife-to-be, now aged 71, two years prior to their marriage when he worked as a journalist and she worked in a council office.

Mr Whitmore explains: "I was a young reporter on the Hertfordshire Express and Wendy worked in the Baldock council offices.

"Every Thursday I had to phone the offices to collect the death notices from Baldock and she was on the switchboard and we got more and more familiar."

Mr Whitmore continued: "She sounded rather abrupt one day and I said has your boyfriend given you up and she asked how did I know.

"Eventually we made a blind date and met in Baldock and I took her on the back of my motorbike to the Broadway Cinema in Letchworth GC where we saw Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

"We discovered that we were both born in the Benslow Nursing Home in Hitchin. It's now an old people's home so we both might end up in the place where we started!"

After their marriage the couple honeymooned in London for a couple of days before returning to Hitchin to sort out their first home together - a flat in Sun Street.

The couple have both been active members of the Bancroft Players drama group and during his time as president Mr Whitmore launched the appeal to build Hitchin's Queen Mother Theatre, which the Queen Mother opened in July 1983 and which remains the only theatre in the country to bear her name.

Mrs Whitmore was a member of the local NSPCC for many years and the couple were both founder patrons of the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth GC.

The couple have four daughters - Jane, Sarah, Kate and Lucy - and have nine grandchildren.

To celebrate their anniversary Mr and Mrs Whitmore will be having a party with 70 family members and friends, after which they will be going via Eurostar on a Great Rail Journey to Switzerland.

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