Hollie Anderson interviews her grandparents, Cyril and Pat Goode, as they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
It’s hard to believe that my grandparents, Cyril and Patricia Goode, have now been married for six decades. Quickly flipping through their wedding album of just 12 photos, it’s clear that it was a different time.
My Gran was just 19 when they walked down the aisle at St Wulfram’s Church, and as I sit chatting to them over a cup of tea I realise they’d been ‘courting’ for a mere 14 months, after meeting at Neal’s Social Club in 1954. Since then they have had two daughters, Elaine and Carol, and also four grandchildren, myself, Mitchell, Laura and Jack.
I can’t imagine marrying someone after dating for such a short amount of time – surely you need to get to know someone better than that?
Pat: “It’s different today – back then men couldn’t wait to get women down the aisle…for obvious reasons!”
Does it feel like you’ve been married a whole 60 years?
Cyril: “Oh, no – it only feels like a couple of years, mainly because we’ve had such a good marriage.”
But was it true that Gran refused to marry you unless you could dance?
Pat: “Well, when he asked me out I said ‘you’ll have to learn to dance’ because dancing was my life back then. I taught him in our kitchen – that’s when I knew he was keeper!”
What has been the highlight of the last 60 years?
Cyril: “That’s a difficult question! It was a very happy moment when Pat finally said ‘I do’ on our wedding day. Then, of course, there was when our two girls Elaine and Carol came along… I can remember Carol being born at home – being there for it was quite the experience!”
What has been the biggest challenge that you’ve both faced?
Pat: “The biggest challenge is married life itself, the day-to-day. You’ve got to work hard to keep it going – they don’t do that nowadays.”
Would you have done anything differently, looking back now?
Cyril: “I think perhaps we could have taken the opportunity and moved to Australia when the rest of Pat’s family did… all the family that went have done extremely well.”
Pat: “You haven’t done too badly though!”
Cyril: “Yes, but I think we could have done better.”
Your other granddaughter, Laura, is getting married next year – what advice would you give to her?
Cyril: “Well, the obvious thing is to pick the right person. I picked Pat – and I didn’t want anybody else. She was the only woman in my life… and still is!”
What were you looking for? Did you get what you wanted?
Pat: “I wanted someone steady and reliable… Cyril was good looking, and he treated me like a lady. I definitely got what I wanted. We can laugh together and he’s always been my rock.”
My Grandparents have always been a constant in our family, providing support and advice as best they can. We’re all looking forward to celebrating this milestone with them, and hopefully we’ll get a glimpse of my grandad’s dancing skills at our family party this weekend!