Hitting just the right note for Bob and Val’s golden wedding

Val and Bob Kilsby
Val and Bob Kilsby
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Bob Kilsby sang It’s Now Or Never at his golden wedding party, but it didn’t come as much of a surprise to his wife Val.

‘It’s not a party if he doesn’t do a song,’ she says. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t delighted by his rendition of the Elvis hit.

‘It’s one of our favourites, that’s our era,’ says Val.

Bob is a tenor and used to appear with the group Bits and Pieces. He has sung in pubs, old people’s homes and at Portsmouth Guildhall in a concert for the city’s senior citizens.

He even sang at their wedding 50 years ago at St Mary’s Church in Fratton.

Bob and Val both grew up in Portsmouth and met at a dance in Eastney where they impressed each other with a nifty quickstep.

‘I was with all my pals after playing football and I saw her coming through the door,’ says Bob. ‘I said “look at that girl, she’s like a vision”. I thought, “I must have a dance with her”.’

The couple lived in a flat for a while and then bought the house they still live in 48 years later.

Before retirement Bob was a painter and decorator and did shop fitting in John Lewis stores all over the country.

Val has worked at Portsea Island Opticians for more than 25 years.

They celebrated at the Blue Lagoon in Hilsea with family and friends including son, Ian, his fiancee Donna and their daughter Olivia, and daughter Angie, her husband Robin and their sons Scott and Brad.