A COUPLE plan to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary tonight with a diamond necklace and dinner...
Yet Tony and Joan Martin, of Post Office Lane, North Mundham, didn’t plan to get married on this date.
“Our birthdays are the same day so the plan was to get married on our birthday,” said Tony, 82.
Joan, 78, said: “That way he wouldn’t forget.”
But, due to a German aunt having to go home, the ceremony was postponed for a week.
The pair met on Bognor Regis seafront in 1952.
“She was 16 then, I had to chase her for miles but I’ve never regretted it,” said Tony.
Joan said: “I was with some friends, and we kept moving up, but he walked me home and it started from there.” The proposal happened after a trip to the cinema.
“I’d already asked her dad, he said ‘have you asked Joan’ and when I said no he said ‘well you better get on and do it’,” said Tony. Two years after they met, on August 21, 1954, they got married at North Bersted Church.
Their honeymoon, in the west country, would be both Tony and Joan’s first time away from home on their own.
As well as building a family together, they have three sons - Michael, Philip and Garry - and four grandchildren, Tony and Joan have built two of their three homes and a business.
“We’ve been very lucky. I wouldn’t changeanything,” said Tony.
Despite the Plant Hire business being taken over by his sons, Tony still keeps himself busy thanks to his lifelong passion – motorcycles – and he manages Bognor Regis Motorcycle Trialling Club.
“He’s always in the shed,” said Joan. “He gets them and does them up. He had a bike when I met him and used to pick me up after work on the back of it.”
As for the secret to their happiness? “We don’t argue,” said Joan.
“She does think I am going deaf but there are just some things I don’t listen to,” said Tony.