Diamond wedding: Thomas and Patricia Morrison
Thomas and Patricia Morrison from Havant celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary at a special get-together with 12 loved ones at the Langbrook Farm, Havant, planned by their daughter Lyn.
The pen pals married in 1956 at St James’s Church, Emsworth, and are parents to two other children, Phillip and Mark.
They also have eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Eighty-year-old Patricia, originally from Westbourne, says: ‘Thomas was in the army in Germany when we started sending each other letters. ‘Friends suggested that we write to each other so we did.
‘We then wrote for a year before we first met in 1954. We knew we were falling in love with each other when we were writing the letters.’
Thomas, also 80 and originally from Scotland, joined the army at 17 where he became a gunner in the Royal Artillery.
He says the couple knew it was fate when they sent each other the same Valentine’s card while he was still in Germany.
‘I sent my card to her and a couple of days later one came for me,’ says Thomas.
‘It was the exact same one, so at first I thought she’d sent it back. What are the chances of that?’
Patricia’s mother let Thomas stay with their family when he came to visit from Germany.
‘My mum looked after Thomas while I was at work at Woolworths in Chichester.’ says Patricia.
‘He used to come and meet me and wait out the back.’
Thomas, who afterwards got a job on the railway as a guard, would send parcels and messages to Woolworths for his girlfriend, before asking for her hand in marriage.
There were 120 guests at the wedding, including both sets of parents and six bridesmaids, one of which was Patricia’s sister.
‘It was a fantastic day, we were both so excited.’ says Patricia.
The devoted pair say they have many wonderful memories, such as the birth of their first grandchild and first great-grandchild.
‘We’ve had our ups and downs but over the years we’ve been happy and very lucky,’ says Thomas.
Patricia says that one of their fondest memories is when they got to bring Mark, their youngest child, home from the hospital after he was born.
‘He was poorly so we couldn’t take him home straight away,’ says Patricia.
‘He still had a soft spot on his head.
‘Three weeks later we took him home, which was really lovely.’
The couple are firm believers that working together is the key to a successful marriage.
Thomas says: ‘We more or less read each other’s minds, but the secret is to trust and take care of one another.
‘I don’t moan if she’s not feeling well, and if I’m not well she looks after me.
‘We really have had a lovely life.’
The pair say they would like to take a tour of Scotland one day and have a trip to Camber Sands planned with family.