Denmead couple celebrate 60 years of marriage after meeting at Southsea's Savoy Ballroom
As soon as Alan Jones spotted Molly Killner across the dancefloor in 1959, he knew she was the one for him.
The couple met at Savoy Ballroom, Southsea, when Alan was 19 and Molly was 20.
Now 83, Alan remembers the night vividly and is still as in love with his wife on their diamond wedding as he was on the night he met her.
Alan, originally from County Durham, says: ‘We met when I was 19 and Molly was 20. She is nine months older than me.
“It was amazing, I saw her across the room. The band had just finished playing a song and I crossed the ballroom while it was quiet.
“I thought in my head how embarrassing this would be if she said no but thankfully she said yes.’
When they met, Molly was working as a waitress in Waterlooville and Alan, who had joined the Royal Navy, was based in Portsmouth.
‘Our courting was fairly intermittent because I was away a lot.
“I spent all the time I could with her and also tried to see my family back home too,’ explains Alan.
The couple married on March 25, 1961, at All Saints Church, Denmead in front of 100 guests.
Alan says: ‘We were both 23 when we got married. We had our reception at the Denmead Memorial Hall and our honeymoon in Guernsey for a couple of days.
‘When we were married, I spent so much time away from Molly. I think during one year, I only spent two weekends with her. The Royal Navy would send you all over the world.
‘We lived with Molly’s parents for a while after we married and had our first son Gary there. Sadly, he passed away in 2012.
‘We had our daughter in 1966 and she now lives in Gloucester.’
Alan left the navy in 1963 for five years before rejoining. He officially left in 1983 after 22 years of service.
He says: ‘Once I left, I worked for the MOD and Molly was a dinner lady at Denmead Junior School.
‘When we retired, Molly worked in a charity shop for about 15 years. She really enjoyed that.
Also during their retirement, the Jones’ enjoyed travelling the UK on coach tours. ‘Our favourite place was Cricket Saint Thomas, Somerset. It was beautiful there,’ adds Alan.
Reminiscing the past 60 years of marriage, the couple can’t believe where the time has gone.
Alan says: ‘It’s about tolerance really. We respect each other’s opinions and we get along really well.
‘Lots of Molly’s family are near and we see our friends regularly when we can. We do Zoom quizzes with our daughter’s family every week.
‘It’s the ideal life.’
To celebrate their diamond wedding, the couple enjoyed a takeaway from the Fox and Hound Pub, Denmead, and look forward to seeing their daughter and two grandsons when restrictions allow.