Portsmouth family celebrate double wedding anniversaries on the same date

Not many families share birthdays and anniversaries with their parents or siblings.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 10:15 am
Sarah and Bob Jeffery with their card from The Queen.

However the Jeffery family, from Portsmouth, do.

With already eight birthday clashes in the family, Sarah and Bob Jeffery – who are celebrating their diamond anniversary this year – share their special day with their son, Glenn, and daughter-in-law, Carly, who are now celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary. Both couples married on December 17, just 45 years apart.

‘When we really think about it, it's difficult to understand where all that time went...’

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Sarah and Bob on their wedding day in 1960.

It is luck, honesty and true love which has got Sarah and Bob to their diamond anniversary.

Both born on July 1 just one year apart, Bob grew up in Shoreham after arriving in the back of an ambulance in 1939.

Sarah, née Slidel, is a Portsmouth girl, born in 1940, and met her future husband while they were both working at Smith and Vosper Bakery, Basin Street, North End, where she was a confectioner.

Sarah, 80, says: ‘Bob would sometimes bring the ingredients to me. He was always making people laugh and getting everyone to join in singing songs. I thought he was a bit flirty and a little show off!’

Sarah and Bob together in their younger days.

Bob admits he didn’t take much notice of Sarah until he saw her arrive in her normal ‘civvy’ clothing because previously he had only seen her in aprons and hair nets.

While they were courting, Bob and Sarah were regulars at the Savoy Ballroom, Southsea. Bob was ‘football mad’ and lived for playing at the weekends.

Bob, 81, says: ‘Sometimes we would go to the Centaur Pub on a Friday night with Sarah’s dad, Mr Slidel.’

‘Bob wore jeans to a date once and I refused to go out until he went home to get changed!,’ adds Sarah, laughing.

Carly and Glenn Jeffery on their wedding day in 2005.

Bob was one of the last people to be called up for National Service.

There were rumours about a posting to Aden, Yemen, where he would be involved in action. The couple decided to get engaged.

Bob and Sarah married at All Saints Church, Commercial Road, Portsmouth, on December 17, 1960. They spent their honeymoon at the Corona Hotel, London.

Bob explains: ‘Two nights at the Corona Hotel cost £3.10. We still have the receipt.

Carly and Glenn with their three daughters.

‘We went out to the cinema in Leicester Square to see Elmer Gantry starring Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons and then on for a mixed grill.’

Bob and Sarah have three children – Allison, Mark and Glenn – and also eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

To celebrate this special milestone, Sarah and Bob enjoyed a lunch at The Red Lion, Chalton, with their son and daughter-in-law, Glenn and Carly, who have the same anniversary.

When asked about the most important thing in a successful marriage, Bob answers: ‘Who knows? Marriage is a gamble.

‘People and things change over time and we just feel very lucky that we've been able to achieve this milestone.’

‘Honesty and we've always helped each other. I honestly can't remember too many arguments,’ adds Sarah, laughing.

Carly and Glenn Jeffery together.

Bob adds: ‘60 years feels no different really. When we really think about it, it's difficult to understand where all that time went.’

‘It was just fate ...’

Sharing their wedding anniversary with Glenn’s parents means more to Glenn and Carly with every year that passes.

The couple, from Baffins, Portsmouth, also married on December 17, in 2005, while they were visiting Glenn’s sister, Allison, in Auckland, New Zealand.

Glenn’s birthday – also December 17 – coincided with his parents’ 13th wedding anniversary and he got married on his 32nd birthday.

Glenn, 47, says: ‘When we decided to get married while visiting my sister in New Zealand, it was just fate that the next available Saturday was December 17.

‘Everyone found it amusing at the time as the Jeffery family already had eight different birthday clashes.

‘However, we both feel that sharing the date means a lot more to us as time goes on and we'll often celebrate with a family meal out together.’

Glenn and Carly, 45, née Parkinson, originally met through a mutual friend while spending the day at Southsea beach in 1990 and started dating in 1992.

They now have three daughters Mabel, Freya and Iris.

To mark their 15th wedding anniversary and Bob and Sarah’s diamond wedding, they enjoyed a meal at The Red Lion, Chalton.