Blue sapphire wedding: Fred and Pearl Barrie celebrate 65 years

Pearl and Fred Barrie celebrated their anniversary with a party at the Beechcroft Manor Nursing Home in Alverstoke
Pearl and Fred Barrie celebrated their anniversary with a party at the Beechcroft Manor Nursing Home in Alverstoke
Donaford Hilton

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He’s a very proud Scotsman, but one thing Fred Barrie will admit Scotland couldn’t give him is the perfect wife.

And that’s why the 87-year-old tells his family he had to come all the way to Gosport to find her – and that he did.

After 65 years together Fred and Pearl Barrie celebrated their blue sapphire wedding with a family meal at Hardy’s and a party at the Beechcroft Manor Nursing Home in Alverstoke.

About 45 guests attended the party, including family, friends and staff at the home.

The couple’s daughter Lynn says: ‘Mum and dad loved the party. The atmosphere was electric.

‘Everybody was touched, especially when The Rose and Thistle pipe band came out and played Amazing Grace.

‘Dad thought it was just music playing on something at first. He’s a very proud Scotsman and he used to play in the band, so it was a big thing for him.’

Fred, real name David Frederick Barrie, met 84-year-old Pearl when he was posted to Gosport in the army as a teenager.

It was at a dance hall in the area that the couple locked eyes, and they have been inseparable ever since.

Lynn says: ‘Dad asked mum if she had a date and she said no, so they spent the night dancing together.

‘They saw each other the following week and after that became a couple.’

Fred and Pearl had a double wedding with Pearl’s sister and her husband at the Christ Church in Gosport, in 1951.

The couple went on to have two children, Mark Barrie, 59, and Lynn Jewell, 55. They also have four grandchildren.

During their time together Fred also worked as a gardener at Haslar Hospital.

After this he did a bricklaying course and eventually became a bricklayer, and went on to build a house for his wife and family, which still belongs to the couple to this day.

Pearl worked as a nanny for a commander in the navy at Haslar. She was asked to go abroad but refused because she had met Fred.

She then went on to work for a captain as a nanny, and after having her children, worked at Cyanamid along Fareham Road for more than 10 years.

One thing the couple loved to do in their younger years was entertain and host parties. Lynn says that although Pearl is quieter than Fred, the couple are very sociable.

‘Mum and dad would have parties at home for family and friends, we even had a themed party once.

‘They didn’t travel much until they retired, then they found their wings and took lots of trips. They really got the bug for it.’

When asked what she thinks of her parents achieving 65 years of marriage, Lynn says: ‘They are soulmates, they adore each other and are so sweet together.

‘Dad always says he had to come all the way across the country to find himself the perfect wife.

‘I’m proud and I look up to them. They’ve had a good and happy life.’