There aren’t many couples who are able to celebrate a milestone quite like Alan and Cynthia Lock’s. As of July 19, the Havant couple have been married a full 70 years.
‘We get along, don’t we?’ Cynthia, 90, laughs, turning to her husband.
‘Yeah, we plod along,’ her 91-year-old husband responds in a similar manner.
Alan was born and bred in Portsmouth, but he first bumped into Cynthia – who was raised near Bath – in 1944, when he was stationed at RAF Locking, in Weston-Super-Mare.
‘My friend Doreen went off with Alan’s friend Eric for a while, and then it didn’t materialise, but we went on,’ Cynthia says.
‘His hair was fair and he had these blue eyes which seemed to just stand out, and he was in his uniform.’
‘I had wicked thoughts! jokes Alan. ‘She was not a bad-looking girl.’
With the post-war spirit not quite in full effect, Alan and Cynthia enjoyed modest dates such as trips to the cinema, before tying the knot in 1947.
‘I was nervous, and I couldn’t wear white because we were still on rations,’ says Cynthia, who instead wore a dusty pink outfit. ‘But my mum did what she could to provide for the day.’
‘The night before we got married, I went to the local pub,’ admits Alan. ‘I felt awful the morning of the wedding!
He adds: ‘Cynthia looked lovely in her dress.’
After honeymooning in Paignton, Devon, the couple moved to Portsmouth as soon as they were married. They first lived in a naval hut in West Leigh before moving to Holybourne Road in Havant, where they have lived since 1954.
The couple had two children - their son Geoff is now 69, but their daughter Jill sadly died 37 years ago from a brain tumour, at the age of 22.
‘She’s always on our mind, even after all these years,’ says Cynthia. ‘You don’t really expect your children to go before you, do you?’
Alan spent 10 years working in the dockyard, before taking jobs at Vickers Systems and Colts, the latter of which he spent 25 years at as an assembly fitter. Meanwhile, Cynthia worked in a variety of evening jobs, including making Goodmans speakers on the production line.
‘They’d do anything for you,’ says Maureen Treagust, Alan and Cynthia’s former daughter-in-law, who says she knows them better than her own parents. ‘I still call them my mum and dad.’
Alan and Cynthia’s family has since expanded to include two grandsons, as well as two great-grandchildren – 12-year-old Mason and nine-year-old Layton – who they celebrated their platinum wedding with at a barbecue.
‘We don’t row or anything like that,’ Cynthia says upon being asked what the secret is to a long and prosperous marriage. ‘We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but every couple is like that. It’d be boring otherwise!’
‘She’s got a very caring nature,’ says Alan of his wife, who responds: ‘He’s always been good to me, even if he can’t hear me very well these days!’