An island trip for a diamond couple

David and Eileen Pidgeon today
David and Eileen Pidgeon today
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Eileen and David Pidgeon celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with a five-day trip to the Isle of Wight and a family party.

Eileen, 80, and David, 83, met at a dance on South Parade Pier in 1953.

David Pidgeon and Eileen Pidgeon on thier wedding day in 1955 at St Mary's Church, Fratton.

David Pidgeon and Eileen Pidgeon on thier wedding day in 1955 at St Mary's Church, Fratton.

‘I just asked her if she would like to get married. We found a flat on Orchard Road in Southsea, which was very hard to do in those days,’ says David.

In 1955, the couple got married at St Mary’s Church in Fratton, and had their reception at the Liberal Club on Lake Road.

‘It all went off well, there was a lovely atmosphere,’ says David.

‘It was a brilliant day,’ Eileen adds.

For their honeymoon, Eileen and David went away in the summer to West Bay in Bridport, Dorset. While there the newlyweds visited Weymouth, Dorchester and Lyme Regis.

Sixty years later, the couple went on another trip – this time with their daughter Tracy to the Bembridge Coast Hotel in the Isle of Wight.

‘We love the island, it is so peaceful and rural,’ says David.

While there they were treated to nightly entertainment including comedy and Curtain Up, a medley of musicals including Miss Saigon.

‘I’m just so glad I got to take them away because they are the best parents anyone could ever have,’ says Tracy.

‘They have looked after me and my siblings all our lives and I wanted to make it a special day because 60 years of marriage is a very special occasion.’

On the day of their anniversary, the couple received a card from the Queen, 60 carnations covered in rhinestones and a personalised cake, among other gifts.

The weekend after their anniversary Eileen and David went to daughter Susan’s house in Funtley Hill for a family party.

The couple also have a son, Gary, two grandsons, Ashley, 30, and Scott, 27, and four great-grandchildren – Jamie, five, Mollie, three, Zac, one, and Riley, one, with another on the way. So what is the secret to their long marriage?

‘We get on well together. We argue every now and again but we always agree in the end. We have always helped each other out with bringing up the children,’ says David.

‘We do get on well together, don’t we Dave?’ says Eileen.

In their life together David has worked in the motor trade. He used to cycle to Wadham Stringer in Waterlooville, and he also worked at the United Services Garage in Hilsea. Eileen was a shop assistant, including at Fine Fare, a grocery store in Charlotte Street by the Tricorn building.

They now live at The Drive in Fareham, having lived in Blackfriars Road in Southsea and Tennyson Road and Aylen Road, both in Copnor.