The weddings of 60 years ago were very different to today’s lavish occasions and there was a practical reason for Patrick and Doris Roache tying the knot in December.
In 1952 food was still rationed in Britain and the population was given extras at Christmas – just enough to supply a Boxing Day celebration.
‘It was nothing like the weddings you get today, we had to think about every penny. But everyone chipped in with food and we had a lovely day,’ says Patrick, 81.
He and 79-year-old Doris now live in Lee-on-the-Solent but they were married in Reading. He had recently returned from the Far East after finishing his National Service stint and they’d managed to find some rooms in a house.
‘Accommodation wasn’t easy to find in those days, either, so we had to think about that before we could get married,’ says Patrick.
The couple and their friends and family had a wonderful day and particularly enjoyed the two-tier wedding cake – quite a luxury in those days. ‘We didn’t have a honeymoon, though. But we had a couple of pounds left so we went to the pictures the next day – and sat in the expensive seats,’ laughs Patrick.
Patrick, a retired flooring specialist, and Doris have four children and eight grandchildren. They have enjoyed holidays around the world over the years but are staying closer to home for their anniversary, heading to Bournemouth for a week.
Doris says the key to a long marriage is working at it. ‘You have your struggles but you come through them. We’ve had our ups and downs like everybody but you come back up and again and we’re very close as a family.’