Paulsgrove couple reveal their secret to 60 years of marriage

‘I knew that she was going to be my wife,’ says Bob Floyd, as he looks adoringly at his wife of 60 years, Julie.

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 12:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 12:35 pm
Bob and Julie Floyd pictured at home in their Paulsgrove garden. Pictures: Habibur Rahman

Married on July 23, 1960, the Paulsgrove couple are now celebrating their diamond anniversary and laugh together as they recall how they first started courting.

Bob, 80, says: ‘I was at the pub with a mate in 1958. He said I should go to the pictures with him because he was meeting a girl and she was bringing a friend.

‘We caught the bus, no one had cars in those days, and we saw the two girls. My Julie was one of them.

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Bob and Julie Floyd on their wedding day in 1960.

‘I knew that she was going to be my wife. I chased my girl and she didn’t take a liking to me for a while.’

A few months later at Easter, Julie and Bob bumped into each other again.

‘I saw her again when we were up at a club at Easter time. The organisers said whoever got up and sang would win an Easter egg. I did it and sang a rock’n’roll song. I went over to Julie to give her the egg and she said she didn’t want it. Bob laughs and says: ‘My mum ended up having it.’

Weeks later, the couple met again at a fair in Portsmouth and Julie finally accepted Bob’s request to take her on a date.

The couple share a sweet kiss. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘I walked her home. Her dad was quite a hard man so I said goodbye and arranged to go to the pictures the next day, and ran home,’ says Bob

‘We met the next day for the pictures. I forgot my money so my Julie had to pay for our first date!’

In 1959, Julie, née Rayner, and Bob got engaged before marrying a year later at St Michael & All Angels Church, Paulsgrove.

‘The first three months we were married, Julie was the only one working because I was on a building site and fell and fractured my arm,’ says Bob, as Julie laughs.

Bob and Julie Floyd at their wedding day in 1960.

‘I have worked many jobs in my lifetime and met so many wonderful people. I loved working, it kept me busy. I eventually got work at the commercial docks and became a foreman. My son worked there too and has done for 30 years.’

The Floyds had their son Darren in 1964 and daughter Debbie in 1966. Today, they have five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

‘They’re wonderful children. We are so lucky and blessed with our beautiful family,’ says Bob.

‘We spend a lot of time with them too.’ Like many people, the pandemic has forced planned celebrations to be postponed. Julie and Bob had planned many overseas holidays to celebrate their diamond anniversary but Bob says they have pushed everything back.

He adds: ‘For our diamond wedding this year, we had a holiday booked to Corfu in April, a cruise in August and October.

‘My son Darren had also booked a four-day trip to France for my brother and I to go to the Normandy Beaches. Hopefully we can go next year.’

But for now, the couple are overjoyed to be celebrating their anniversary with their family.

Bob says: ‘It’s amazing to have been married for 60 years.

‘I love my woman to bits. We’re very lucky.’ And their secret to a happy marriage is to always sort out arguments straight away. He adds: ‘My dad always said to me to never go to sleep or to work on an argument. You never know what’s going to happen. If we’ve got a problem, we sort it out straight away. There’s no point in festering.’