Jet-setters from Fareham celebrate 60th wedding anniversary as they plan for their next big adventure

TWO keen travellers have been looking back fondly to years of sightseeing memories and ‘hair-raising’ trips as they celebrate 60 years of marriage.

By Elsa Waterfield
Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 11:34 am

Brian, 85, and Diane, 81, Stevens, from Fareham, celebrated their diamond wedding with a meal at Miller & Carter in Southampton on May 26 alongside their daughter Fiona, son-in-law and grandson Sam.

Their son Peter, who emigrated to Canada in 2000, is in regular contact with his parents who used to visit the country - one of their favourite holiday destinations - every two years, before Covid-19 struck.

‘He would have liked to come over and to have seen us on the day, but he had an operation recently and can’t travel,’ says Brian.

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Diane (81) and Brian Stevens (85) from Fareham, celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on Thursday, May 26. Picture: Sarah Standing (260522-8184)

They hope to travel back to Canada soon to visit Peter and their two grandchildren.

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Brian, who grew up in Portchester, met Diane - who worked as a clerk in a bank - at a ballroom in Salisbury while carrying out his National Service there from 1957 to 1959.

‘I was attracted to her immediately,’ says Brian.

Diane (81) and Brian Stevens (85) from Fareham, celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on Thursday, May 26. Pictured is: Copy picture of Brian and Diane Stevens on their wedding day.

And Diane says: ‘I was attracted by his looks, and he was my first ever dance partner.’

‘Much to my wife’s regret we didn’t carry on, I didn’t like dancing very much at all. I’ve got two left feet,’ adds Brian.

Brian and Diane were together for two years – with Brian catching the train from Portchester to Salisbury most weekends – before their wedding at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Salisbury in 1962.

On the day, Brian organised for a coach to travel from Portchester to take his family to the ceremony.

Brian and Diane Stevens Diamond wedding

‘Diane was very nervous, I remember holding her hand during the ceremony and she was shaking,’ says Brian.

As Diane was a Girl Guide leader, the couple were greeted by an archway of Guides outside as they headed to the reception adjoining the church.

Not long after their wedding the couple moved to Fareham where they settled and have lived happily since.

‘We’ve travelled extensively.

Brian and Diane Stevens Diamond wedding

‘Once, when we went to Australia, we went right around the world through Los Angeles and Singapore,’ adds Brian.

As avid globetrotters, the pair have experienced many things during their time together – from flying on Concorde and being greeted by swarms of reporters as it touched down for the first time in Tenerife.

Brian says: ‘The Concorde experience sticks in my mind because it was such a special trip.’

To Jerusalem, the Wailing Wall, Moscow, Australia, New Zealand and even a slightly sinister trip to Egypt shortly after it had seen an attack on tourists. ‘We went in a convoy which had police behind covering us, that was a bit of a hair-raising trip,’ says Brian.

Following the birth of her second child Peter, Diane lost her hearing completely and became totally reliant on Brian for help. He says: ‘I was her voice, I always had to be there so that she understood what was happening.’

Having a cochlear implant fitted two years ago has helped Diane ‘tremendously’ and made a massive difference to their life together, although some habits have stuck. ‘We’ve carried on like that, she always wants me with her,’ Brian adds.

Diane says: ‘We’ve had our ups and downs but we’re very happy.

‘The best advice I can give is to give and take.’

‘… and look on the bright side,’ adds Brian.