‘It’s such an achievement to reach 60 years of marriage,’ smiles Angela Baldry, who is celebrating her diamond wedding anniversary with husband John.
‘It’s just wonderful.’
John was a newly-qualified electronics engineer when he met Angela, nee Williams, at a Valentine’s Dance at Canley Training College, where she was studying to be a teacher, in Coventry in 1957.
They married in Nottingham – which was Angela’s home town – on August 8, 1959, just after her 21st birthday.
After their honeymoon in Cornwall, the couple moved to Emsworth and have lived there ever since. However, it was never part of their plan.
Angela, 81, explains: ‘I already had a teaching job lined up in Coventry but John had applied for a job at electrics company Plessey as an electrical engineer.
‘He got the job down in West Leigh and there were a lot of young engineers down here at the time. It was really the place to come.
‘I moved and started working at Front Lawn Infant School, Leigh Park, and had 45 children in my class – that was a lot for a young teacher who had just come out of training.’
Once they were settled in their home at Talara Cottage, Emsworth, the couple had their first daughter, Sallyann, in 1961. Their second daughter, Elizabeth Jane, followed in 1962, and then their two sons, Simon and Peter.
‘I started a little nursery school called Talara for children in Emsworth. There were four children at first and three were my own,’ laughs Angela. John, 88, who came to Britain on his fifth birthday having been born in Peru, says: ‘I worked at Plessey for the whole of my working life.’
Angela adds: ‘When John was 61, when US and Russian relations improved, the defence industry fell apart so he left work.’
The Baldrys, who now have
10 grandchildren and three
enjoy going to the theatre and gardening together.
‘We just love Emsworth,’ smiles Angela.
John says: ‘I used to enjoy spearfishing when I was younger, I almost made the British team. I used to do a lot of windsurfing too.’
To celebrate their diamond anniversary, they enjoyed ‘a splendid buffet’ with their children, in-laws, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews who came from as far away as Scotland, Suffolk and Devon – a grand total of 51.