Even in 1950 ladies sometimes made the first move and it was Mary Bicheno who approached future husband Fred Castle at a South Parade Pier dance.
‘They used to have a ladies’ ‘excuse me’ dance when the girl could ask the man and Mary came up and said ‘can I have this dance?,’ recalls Fred, now 89.
She made the right choice as the Castles, who live in Copnor, have recently celebrated their diamond wedding.
Fred and Mary, now 88, were married at St Margaret’s Church, Eastney on January 3, 1953.
They would have been married in 1951 but Fred, a Normandy veteran, was recalled from the Army Reserves to serve in Korea and Japan.
Mary, who worked at Co-op in Portsmouth when they met, was happy to wait and they wrote to each other over the next two years until his return.
They have lived in Portsmouth all their married life and for many years were keen bowlers, Fred with Copnor Bowling Club and Mary with Moneyfields Ladies.
Fred worked as an instructor in electrical engineering, first in the Dockyard and then as a civilian instructor at the army base in Bordon. They have three children who all now have families of their own.