Celebrating their golden anniversary, Jean and Michael Potter reminisce over the past 50 years together, and say laughter is the key.
Originally from Essex, Jean trained as a defence operator and moved to RAF Stanmore, where she met Michael at dances and social events.
Michael, who worked in the operations centre, said the pair took an instant liking to one another.
‘We started talking and found out that our birthdays were two years and two days apart – I could not believe it,’ said Jean.
After spending holidays on Hayling with her grandparents in the 1950s, Jean encouraged Michael to spend their rare weekends away together on the Island.
‘It has beautiful memories,’ said Jean. ‘Hayling is a home from home and we wouldn’t want to live anywhere else now.’
When Michael proposed in February 1968, the couple only had five weeks to plan their wedding.
They tied the knot on March 17 of that year in St Mary’s Church, Southend- on-sea. ‘It was a beautiful day. It was a bit windy, but the sun was shining,’ said Michael.
‘All I can really remember is that the aisle was far too long.
‘They should really make them shorter,’ Jean exclaimed in jest.
The newly-weds soon moved to Hayling Island, where they went on to raise their four children.
‘It was a very hectic time but we had a good laugh,’ said Jean.
Jean’s dress did not just see one wedding – but two.
When Jean’s older brother decided to get married, her future sister-in- law borrowed everything, including something old and something blue. ‘It was lovely,’ said Jean.
When asked to describe the past 50 years spent together, the couple laughed.
‘I am so grateful for my husband’s love and support – there is no one like him,’ said Jean.
‘There’s grey skies but there’s always some sun.’
The Potters celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at Newtown House Hotel, surrounded by their family and close friends.