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Couple beat early odds to make 60-year milestone
Buy this photo » Les and Hazel Grace, who are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary
A COUPLE are celebrating 60 years of marriage today, despite not seeing eye to eye when they first met.
Les and Hazel Grace, of Park South, met when they were teenagers but, according to Hazel, she was not keen on Les’ confident nature.
They became friends after Les had his arm in a sling a after an injury because Hazel was interested in becoming a nurse and wanted to help him.
“We met through a youth club which used to be at the Methodist Church, in Prospect Place,” said 80-year-old Hazel.
“There was this young chap who was very confident, especially when it came to table tennis. I didn’t like him very much, he seemed too confident.
“One day he had his arm in a sling, and, because I was thinking about becoming a nurse, I wanted to know what he had done. We started chatting and got to like each other better.”
The pair got engaged in April 1950, and married at Bath Road Methodist Church in 1953.
“We were lucky because the minister’s daughter was getting married the day before and agreed to leave the flower arrangements for us to enjoy,” Hazel said.
“It was a bright and beautiful day and we had 40 guests.”
Hazel was forced to give up her career as a nurse for medical reasons and after they got married she became a full time housewife looking after their four children.
Les, also 80, worked at the Evening Advertiser making the adverts then became advertising department manager In her 40s Hazel worked for Swindon Clerical Services.
When asked what the key to a long marriage was Les said: “Caring for each other and looking after each other.
“We have had our arguments but they are always sorted out and we make up.”
The pair will celebrate their anniversary with their family at the De Vere Village Hotel this weekend and will also have a gathering for friends at the Coleview Community Centre.