Portsmouth diamond wedding: Marie lands a Ling in fish and chip shop

John and Marie Ling on their wedding day
John and Marie Ling on their wedding day

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Not many people can say they’ve taken their grandmother with them on honeymoon.

But this is what John Ling did after marrying wife Marie in 1956.

John and Marie celebrate sixty years of marriage

John and Marie celebrate sixty years of marriage

Sixty years later, and the couple from Gosport have celebrated their diamond wedding.

The pair met in The Castle Fisheries, a fish and chip shop which used to be by Fareham Creek, after John had returned from two-and-a-half years of navy service in Korea.

John says: ‘My future wife came into the shop and she knew my mother. She introduced us and I asked Marie to come to my homecoming celebrations.’

She attended and their romance started soon after – but it almost ended before it began.

John reveals: ‘We actually broke up after about nine months, but I can’t remember why! Couples do argue over silly things at times.’

Despite a shaky start, the pair got married at Holy Trinity Church in Fareham, and went on honeymoon to London with John’s grandmother Nell Williams in tow.

But they stopped short of inviting her to share the honeymoon suite – John and Marie accompanied her on the train as she lived in London herself.

John says: ‘We didn’t have a lot of money in those days, so some relations of ours went away for a week so we could stay in their flat in Greenwich.’

After he retired from the navy in 1959, John became a TV engineer at the Ultra electronics factory in Gosport, and Marie worked as a shorthand typist for the Portsmouth and Gosport Water Company and the Pickfords removal company.

The couple have lived in Gosport since their marriage, apart from a three-year emigration to Melbourne in the late 1960s, and have one daughter, Janet, and two granddaughters, Genna and Riyah.

To mark their marital milestone, John and Marie went on a cruise around the Mediterranean courtesy of their daughter Janet.

The highlight of the trip was visiting the leaning tower of Pisa.

‘It’s amazing it’s still standing,’ says John.