Cold bites but love still burns bright for couple

Barbara and John Worsfold
Barbara and John Worsfold
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Before Barbara and John Worsfold could get married, the church had to be cleared of snowdrifts.

But despite the fact that it was the long, cold winter of 1963 and the country was shivering under a thick blanket of snow, bride, groom and guests all made it to the ceremony on time.

John Worsford and Barbara Worsford on their wedding day on March 2nd 1963.

John Worsford and Barbara Worsford on their wedding day on March 2nd 1963.

The couple were married in Rugby, where Barbara lived, but John, who was in the navy, had to travel from HMS Collingwood in Fareham.

‘He came up by train, those were the days of steam trains so things were running – slowly but surely,’ says Barbara.

The couple, who now live in Gosport and will be celebrating their 50th anniversary on Saturday, had a wonderful wedding despite the freezing conditions.

‘It was crisp and cold but it was a really lovely day,’ recalls Barbara. ‘The snow made for some nice pictures.’

Barbara had little experience of dressmaking but decided to make her own gown and three bridesmaids’ dresses.

It was an ambitious project, but one which turned into a lifelong passion and she has now created about 18 wedding dresses and prom outfits for friends and family.

‘A lady up the road helped me and I had plenty of time,’ says Barbara. ‘We didn’t have an awful lot of money so I thought I’d make them and found that I really enjoyed it.’

Like most other wedding dresses, it wasn’t exactly made for the weather but Barbara found a way of keeping warm. ‘I was wearing thermal underwear under the dress,’ she chuckles. ‘We didn’t call it thermal then but that’s what it was.’

The couple spent their honeymoon in London and found their hotel room had been decorated by friends when they arrived. The dedicated pals had driven all the way to the capital on the recently-opened M1 and arrived ahead of the newlyweds.

Barbara and John lived in Scotland and were stationed in Mauritius for two-and-a-half years. ‘It was so beautiful, unspoilt,’ says Barbara.

When they returned to the UK they made their base in the south. John served in the navy for 27 years and was a chief petty officer when he retired. He then went on to become an instructor in electronic warfare at HMS Collingwood.

Barbara trained as a nurse and worked at a practice in Gosport for 25 years.

She also did agency work in hospitals.

They have two sons – John-Peter and Mark.

The couple will be heading to Oxford for their anniversary to visit the spires and colleges they’ve only seen on Morse and Lewis.