Diamond wedding: Brian and Maureen Williams

Brian and Maureen celebrated 60 years together at Rhinefield House, with their close family members this month.
Brian and Maureen celebrated 60 years together at Rhinefield House, with their close family members this month.

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They say opposites attract – and that’s certainly the case for Brian and Maureen Williams, who both agree that they never were, and still aren’t, alike.

Despite each of them being so different, the couple are very much in love and recently celebrated their diamond wedding.

The 81-year-olds live in the New Forest but are both Portsmouth born-and-bred, and have known each other since they were eight.

Maureen, who worked for the Portsmouth Telephone Exchange, says: ‘Brian and I lived opposite each other at Queen’s Road in Copnor.

‘We had different lives and different ideas about many things, so we didn’t have that much to do with each other at first.

‘In fact, I don’t think I was awfully keen on him,’ she chuckles.

But by the time they were 17 something had clicked for the pair, who spent their days dancing and taking walks.

Brian, who remembers being evacuated to Portsdown Hill during the Second World War, says: ‘Maureen and I once went for a walk along Southsea seafront.

‘She made out she was cold so she could hold me and I thought it was lovely.

‘I also remember going dancing at the Savoy Ballroom and at South Parade Pier. We would meet up with a group of people and go for a drink before we did any dancing.

‘I’ve always put Maureen on a pedestal. Why did she marry me? I still don’t know to this day!’

The diamond couple then got engaged, and married four years later at St Albans Church in Copnor.

They have three children – Craig, 58, Tanya, 56 and Grant, 50. They also have a granddaughter named Bryony.

Brian and Maureen lived in their own flat before moving to Nottingham for two years, so that Brian could progress in his career as an electrical engineering draughtsman.

In 1982 the couple settled in the New Forest, but miss Portsmouth very much.

Along with their close family members, Brian and Maureen celebrated their anniversary with a special trip to Rhinefield House.

‘We’ve actually got nothing in common,’ chuckles Brian.

‘It feels like a big achievement that we’re celebrating 60 years together. Opposites attracted and we’ve just worked.

‘It’s a lovely feeling to know that at 81 we’re still quite healthy and have everything we need. We’ve worked hard.’

Maureen says: ‘Brian played a lot of sport and I’m not sporty at all, I let him get on with it.

‘He’s got a big personality and he’s a one-off, there’s not another like him.’