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50 years on clock for happy couple despite car disaster
THE bride’s car may have broken down on their wedding day, but Marion and Keith Dowdell are celebrating today after clocking up 50 years of marriage.
The great-grandparents, of Headlands Grove, are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary after they tied the knot on July 14, 1962 at Shrivenham Parish Church.
But the bride, who was suffering from tonsillitis at the time, was half an hour late for the ceremony after the car broke down.
Marion, 72, said: “I went down with tonsillitis two days before the wedding. The doctor said ‘no way, she’s not well enough’.
“He dosed me up, I didn’t feel 100 per cent but with all the excitement of the wedding I tended to forget it.
“I was half an hour late because the car that was supposed to take me broke down. We lived in Ashbury and the farmer’s wife, who had come out to see us off, ran in to get her husband, Bob Spence. He took us to the church.
“After all that I just forgot about the tonsillitis. All in all it wasn’t the best beginning but he still waited for me at the church, he didn’t run off.”
Marion and Keith have four children, Shaun, Sarah, Ian and Claire, as well as 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Marion, a retired service provider for the Home Care Service, said they tackle challenges together.
“We tackle everything that comes along and because we think so much of one another nothing seems to phase us, we just get on with it,” she said.
“We have had ups and downs but we take everything as it comes, we get on with it and sort it out.
“He is loyal, loving and he is a damn good father, husband and grandfather.”
The couple met at Shrivenham Dance Hall in 1956 when Keith was in the army.
Keith, 74, a retired vehicle workshop manager, said: “I thought she was a pleasant girl and she had a great personality. She was very jovial and I thought she matched me very well.
“We seemed to hit it off right from day one and that was it.
“I was a bit concerned on our wedding day because I knew she had tonsillitis and she had been in bed two days prior to the wedding. She was poorly and we didn’t think it was going to happen.
“Eventually she arrived and of course I found out what happened.”
Keith described Marion as a wonderful wife.
“She is a loving person. I get a little bit frustrated when things go wrong but Marion doesn’t. She takes everything in her stride, whatever happens she has got a way of coping. She is a wonderful wife,” he said.