The key to a successful marriage is a ‘great personality’ and ‘a sense of humour’. That’s according to Joan and Ray Babbage – the Cosham couple who are celebrating 60 years of wedded bliss.
‘We’ve both lived in Portsmouth for most of our lives, apart from being away for four years because of the war,’ says Joan.
‘But it’s great here.’
Joan and Ray initially crossed paths when they bumped into each on the dancefloor at the Savoy Hotel, Southsea.
‘We just love dancing,’ says Joan.
Even now, Joan, 83, and Ray, 84, still love getting out and about. And they say that it’s this similar interest that is one of the reasons they’ve had such a successful marriage.
‘When we were dating, we loved to go dancing, swimming, bingo and walking. We still try to be active,’ says Ray.
‘It’s important to have similar interests,’ explains Joan.
Fourteen months down the line and Joan had a ring on her finger. But the lead-up to the wedding on July 19 was smooth for the laid-back couple.
‘Well, I just didn’t worry about it. I just took it as it came,’ says Ray.
‘We’re similar in that way,’ laughs Joan.
For their honeymoon, the couple travelled around Devon, stopping off at many ‘lovely’ B&Bs along the way.
‘The weather on our wedding day was beautiful, but it rained the whole time we were in Devon,’ laughs Joan.
The couple lived on Portsea Island before they settled in their Cosham home 50 years ago.
To celebrate their diamond anniversary, Joan and Ray were joined by their three sons, Steven, Arran and Michael, seven grandchildren and friends for a party on July 23.
‘I never thought we would have got his far. Time goes so quickly,’ sighs Joan, ‘also, I loved getting the card from the Queen.’
And when asked their favourite aspect about each other, it didn’t take long for them to reply.
‘He’s so caring,’ Joan says while Ray quickly chirps in, ‘she has a great personality.’