Diamond day for Valentine’s couple as they celebrate 60 years of marriage

John and Margaret Dudley on thier wedding day 60 years ago

John and Margaret Dudley on thier wedding day 60 years ago - Credit: Archant

It was a cold and foggy day when diamond couple John and Margaret Dudley walked down the aisle on Valentine’s Day in 1959.

John and Margaret Dudley at their home in Huntingdon

John and Margaret Dudley at their home in Huntingdon - Credit: Archant

John and Margaret Dudley from Huntingdon will be celebrating 60 years of marriage on Saturday, having first met 66 years ago.

“All I remember was it being cold and foggy,” said Margaret. “I remember coming out of the hairdressers in Huntingdon and seeing John and thinking ‘I better get a move on as he is already waiting in the church’”.

Huntingdon-born Margaret attended Huntingdon Secondary Modern, before leaving school to work in the canteen of a former car firm Silent Channel, which specialised in making rubber seals for the car industry at the factory which was based just outside the town centre.

Margaret, 81, then went on to work in Huntingdon High Street for a solicitor.

Husband, John, who was born in Offord Cluny, also worked at the Silent Channel factory in the stores, and then went on to work in the buying office. John worked at the Huntingdon firm for 22 years before leaving to become a sale representative in Coventry. The pair met at a dance at Huntingdon Town Hall in 1955, where John asked Margaret if he could ‘see her home’.

“And that was the start of it.” John, 85, said.

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“We had found a house that we wanted in Huntingdon, but we had to move in pretty quickly, so we decided to get married. We only had six weeks to plan the wedding, it was a bit crazy,” said Margaret.

The couple married at the former Trinity Church in Huntingdon, which used to be located in Huntingdon’s High Street.

They went on to have two children, Jan, 57, and Steven, 54, and moved to Hartford. They also have five grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

When asked about the secret to a happy marriage, Margaret said: “I think it is patience and perseverance, in the good and the bad times. I do think that is the most important.”

Margaret and John were also keen cyclists, once cycling from Huntingdon to the Isle of Wight, around the island and back in eight days.

Margaret said: “We didn’t have a car so I use to cycle everywhere. I had the same bike from when I was 13 to when I was 65. It was only when John said that I couldn’t ride it anymore as he didn’t think it was safe that I gave it to the cycling club. We did a lot of riding on a tandem.”

The couple will celebrate the big day with a party on Saturday, with family and friends travelling from as far afield as Cornwall and Brighton to attend.