It was love at first sight for Yvonne Gregory when she first clapped eyes on Gordon Lowden across a crowded smoky pub in 1959.
Yvonne instantly fell for Gordon when he walked over to her and they started chatting at The Admiral Drake pub in Landport, Portsmouth.
They’d soon started seeing each other, and just before Gordon began his national service in Cyprus for 15 months, the pair got engaged.
Yvonne, now 70, says: ‘I very quickly fell in love with him. It was so hard being apart from him for that long but I got a letter every single day. He was very romantic when he was away.’
Yvonne and Gordon were married at St Mark’s Church in North End, on October 27, 1962 – three years after they first met. They now live in Copnor and have just celebrated 50 happy years of marriage together with their golden wedding anniversary.
Yvonne remembers their wedding like it was yesterday.
She says: ‘It was very cold but I remember it being so sunny. It was very traditional but I was just so happy to marry him. I always thought he was so handsome.’
For their honeymoon Yvonne and Gordon, now 74, spent the night at The Queen’s Hotel on Southsea seafront.
After finishing his national service, Gordon went back to working as a glazier. At the time, Yvonne worked in a corset factory.
When she discovered she was pregnant with their first child, she stopped working to be a mum.
Yvonne and Gordon have three daughters Paula, 49, Jayne, 47 and Trudy, 45, plus five grandchildren Robert, 22, Lauren, 18, Matthew, 18, Jack, 15 and Jimmy, who’s five.
To celebrate their landmark anniversary, the couple went on holiday to Lanzarote for 10 days.
They also marked the occasion by going out for a special meal with their family at the Rusty Cutter, Bedhampton.
‘The holiday was absolutely beautiful and we loved the meal,’ adds Yvonne.
‘Our daughters treated us and there were 14 of us overall.’
Yvonne believes the secret to their happy marriage is plenty of give and take plus each having their own hobbies.
She explains: ‘Gordon has his allotment and he likes to decorate, and I do china painting and I make cakes for friends. There’s ups and downs but as long as you love each other, then it will work out.’