Iris Veryard clocked the handsome new member of staff pretty quickly – but it wasn’t until they both found themselves at the same rock and roll dance that romance blossomed.
Sixteen-year-old Iris was working on the jewellery counter at Portsmouth’s large Co-operative House department store in Fratton Road when she first saw Brian Palmer, who was 17 and had just started on carpets.
So when they both found themselves at South Parade Pier for the weekly open air rock and roll night, it was almost like it was meant to be.
‘There weren’t many young people at the department store and I noticed Brian straight away,’ says Iris. ‘Then on a Wednesday night there was a rock and roll evening at the pier and he was there and I was there.
‘He asked if he could walk me home and we’ve been together ever since.
‘He was very handsome and we both liked going there.’
That was in 1958 and after almost four years of courting, Iris and Brian tied the knot at St Luke’s Church in Southsea on October 28, 1961.
Now the couple, from Purbrook, are getting ready to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary – and can’t believe how fast the time has gone.
Iris, 70, and 71-year-old Brian went on to have three children – Tracie, Cheryl and Andrew. They also have seven grandchildren and will celebrate with family at the weekend.
Then they’ll mark the occasion with a Caribbean cruise together.
‘This is a special celebration,’ adds Iris. ‘It doesn’t seem like 50 years.
‘They were busy years in the early days. We were bringing the children up and Brian was a self-employed carpet fitter.
‘Of course it’s not all been a bed of roses but we’ve grown up together.’