Gosport couple reminisce how they met on 70th wedding anniversary

After 70 years of marriage, John and Muriel Wood have many stories to tell.

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 11:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 11:34 am
John and Muriel Wood celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on June 23, 2020. Picture: Contributed.

But one of the Gosport couple’s most precious tales is how they met before they married on June 23, 1950, at Fareham Register Office.

John’s mother died in childbirth and his father was left to bring up John and his brother. With the help of a Mr and Mrs Horner at Swanmore, his father was able to keep working. However, he contracted TB and died when John was seven.

The Horners wanted to adopt John but his grandmother, who lived in Liverpool, would not agree. Both John and his brother went to Liverpool and eventually ended up in The Seaman’s Orphanage as no member of the family could take care of them.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

John and Muriel Wood celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on June 23, 2020. Picture: Contributed.

After leaving the orphanage at 14, John eventually joined the NAFFI, as he was colour blind and not able to join the navy. He was sent to HMS Collingwood for training and saw a bus in Fareham with Swanmore on it. He travelled to meet the Horners who were so happy to see him and told him that they knew someone they would like him to meet.

That person was Muriel Giles who had been evacuated to the Horners for four years during the war from Gosport. John and Muriel met and the romance blossomed. The rest is history.

After their marriage, they lived in Birkenhead for a short time where their eldest son was born. They moved back to Gosport and have lived there for 59 years. John worked for Portsea Island Co-op for 30 years while Muriel also worked for the Co-op as a cashier.

The Woods have five children together, with three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. A family party was planned but has been put on hold until the family can celebrate their plantinum anniversary together.