Portsmouth’s childhood sweethearts celebrate diamond anniversary
‘We have known each other for 70 years,’ says Pamela Whitehouse, as she smiles at her husband of 60 years, Jim.
‘We both went to Northern Grammar School.’
And that’s where the love story began for Clanfield’s Pamela, nee Tupper, 84 and Jim, 85.
As well as going to school together, the couple also attended St Mark’s Church Companions and athletics training in Alexandra Park.
After dating for a while, Pamela and Jim decided to get engaged in 1957 and planned for two years before they tied the knot on April 4, 1959.
‘I wasn’t allowed out on the morning of my wedding because I was told it was bad luck,’ laughs Pamela.
‘I remember cooking breakfast for everyone.
‘It was a sunny day and it was nice that all of our family were there.
‘We got married at St Mark’s Church in Derby Road, North End,’ she explains.
The Whitehouses held their wedding reception at Kimbells Corner House, Guildhall Walk, before being whisked away for their honeymoon in Brighton.
For most of his life, Jim worked for Portsmouth Gas Company and became area personal manager after 40 years.
Pamela says: ‘I trained as a teacher at Portsmouth Training School for two years and then taught at Brockhurst Junior School, Gosport, for eight years.’
After living in Paulsgrove for 35 years, the Whitehouses moved to Clanfield where they raised their two daughters Caroline and Julia.
Throughout their married life, Jim and Pam loved playing tennis together.
In 1971, they bought a caravan and enjoyed travelling around Britain with their dogs.
When asked about their secret to a long, happy marriage, Jim jokes: ‘I can’t get rid of her.’
Smiling at her husband, Pamela says there is no secret.
‘Well, we just have lasted this long.
‘He’s my best friend.’