WHEN Roy Rumbold married wife Beryl he had to pay £3 extra for a wedding licence because she was aged just 20.
The loving investment proved to be a good one as the couple, who live in Highcliffe, have now been married an astonishing 71 years.
Their wedding at a church in Reading took place when Beryl was 20 and Roy was a year older. At the time the legal age to tie the knot was 21 but by paying the extra fee the couple could go ahead.
The whole wedding, with a reception in a hall, cost Beryl and Roy £19, with the bride wearing a smart blue dress. They did not have a honeymoon, settling instead into married life in Reading.
Beryl and Roy met at a dance. They cannot remember the first tune they whirled around to but both share a love of Frank Sinatra and remember that “we never left the dance floor all night”.
Roy said it “was love at first sight” and he knew he would marry Beryl from that first dance together. They tied the knot just six months later.
Roy worked as a cooper, making and repairing beer barrels, and Beryl was a civil servant.
Their much-wanted son Christopher was born nine years after their wedding, and his daughters, Hayley and Kirstie, are now adored by Beryl and Roy.
The couple said they have never spent a day apart during their married life. The secret to such a long-lasting marriage, they said, was about “being happy together and always making up straight after a row”.
In Reading the couple started a hardware shop which they ran together until they retired to Mudeford several years ago. They now live together at Highcliffe Nursing Home in Stuart Road.
Staff there presented them with flowers and a cake at a special party. Due to the lockdown, a performance from Retro Rita, who sings vintage songs, was streamed live to the home.
Nursing home manager Tracy Miller praised the couple, saying: “Roy and Beryl are devoted to each other and are inseparable.
“They are the most loving and kind couple that you could wish to meet and we are fortunate to have them at Highcliffe Nursing Home.”