A COUPLE who started out as friends are celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary tomorrow (Saturday), 56 years after they first met.
Valerie and Tony Bembridge, of Pastures Close, Grantham, met at a garden fete in 1956 when Valerie was just 14-years-old.
She said: “I was a bit young so we were good friends for a while, when we got back together again we started the serious bit.”
They spent much of their early relationship going to village hall dances with their friends.
Tony, 74, said: “We went to a dance and my mate said he was going to dance with her. I said ‘no you’re not’ and that was it.
“We got on very well from the word go.”
They married at Heydour Church on April 21, 1962 before honeymooning in torrential rain at Eastbourne.
They had two children Michael and Sally and now have grandchildren Charlotte and Jake.
Children have always played a big part in their lives together. Even before they had their own they would baby-sit for their friends.
Valerie said: “Family has been a big part of our lives together.”
Tony added: “We used to go camping a lot when the children were smaller. We made no end of friends.
“We’ve had some good times.”
They will be celebrating their anniversary, which is the same day as the Queen’s birthday, with their family.
It will be a little different from their Ruby Wedding Anniversary when they had over 70 people at an open house celebration event they held.
Tony added: “There were so many people my granddaughter got fed up of opening the door.
“We don’t want anything too elaborate this year. But you never know, perhaps the Queen might come to our party.”
The pair agree that there is no secret to a long and happy marriage but Valerie said: “We’ve had our ups and downs and sometimes we shout at one another. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, I don’t think anybody can but we’ve worked together.”
Tony added: “You have to be tolerant and work at it.”