The fact that Ruth and David Plomer have been married for 60 years is enough reason to celebrate.
But the diamond wedding couple have actually known each other for a lot longer – they met when they were both three!
‘Dave’s mum rented two rooms from my auntie,’ explains Ruth, who grew up in Wymering. ‘Then they moved up here in the war – when people were being bombed out.’
The couple, both 79, now live in Drayton. They are proud parents of six and have grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Ruth and Dave’s large family helped them celebrate their January 3 anniversary with a buffet at their home.
The couple were married at St Peter and St Paul Church in Wymering on a freezing day when they were 19.
‘We didn’t need confetti,’ says Ruth. ‘We had snowflakes.’
They had grown up together, attending the same schools and hanging around with mutual friends.
‘We used to go to the cinemas in Cosham and up the hill looking for bluebells, primroses and chestnuts. We even went cycling all the way to Salisbury. And we loved going down to Hilsea Lido,’ she says.
The pair fell in love when they were teenagers.
‘We hadn’t been that close before that, just part of the same group,’ recalls Ruth.
‘But he made me laugh. He had all these sayings and was a real character. He used to mimic people, that used to make my mum laugh. She loved him.’
Ruth’s mum sadly died when Ruth was 15 and the young girl ended up with a lot of responsibility in the home and at the family shop, Boatman’s.
After they were married, the couple lived with Ruth’s dad for a while but then moved to their own home in Leigh Park.
Dave did National Service, working with mortar bombs as a training instructor, but had to leave the army after his hearing was damaged.
He also later suffered ill health after developing blood clots.
But he always worked hard as an upholsterer. Ruth looked after the children and did some catering work at Hilsea Lido.
In the ’60s the family moved to Australia for a couple of years, but Ruth preferred to be at home.
She says of Dave and their marriage: ‘I look back now and we’ve been through a lot. But Dave is terrific – a man of men. It’s worked because we have a lot of patience.’