There was a special celebration at sea for diamond wedding couple Joe and Daisy Ruff.
The Leigh Park pair marked 60 years of marriage with a cruise of the Norwegian Fjords and enjoyed a champagne breakfast with the captain on their big day.
‘We even had a card from the Queen,’ says Joe. ‘The captain said it had just come by helicopter, but of course he was joking.’
Joe and Daisy were treated to the cruise by their family and were thrilled about their anniversary treat.
But they were also anxious to get back so they could celebrate with their loved ones, who had organised a party for about 100 people at the Rifle Club in Portsmouth.
‘There was a super band playing music from the ’60s and ’70s, the sort of music we like. You could even understand the words back then,’ laughs Joe.
The couple say they were ‘spoilt rotten’ by their family, including daughters Sandy and Jackie and son Steven. Also helping them celebrate were their 12 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.
Joe and Daisy met on her 17th birthday at the Empress Ballroom in North End. Things almost ended there as Daisy gave Joe her real name Margaret. When he went to her house the next day, he was met with blank expressions from her family, who had called her Daisy since she was tiny.
‘I think she wasn’t that keen on being called Daisy, although she likes the name now,’ says Joe. ‘Anyway they said “no-one called Margaret lives here”, which seemed a bit strange as I’d walked her home. Luckily, Daisy was at home and heard from another room.’
The couple, who are now both 80, were married at St James Church, Milton three years later. After marriage they settled and raised their family in Portsmouth. Joe worked as a shop fitter, travelling all over the country, and Daisy was a seamstress at the Twilfit factory.