A Grantham couple will enjoy their 37th cruise in 25 years to celebrate their golden wedding.
Chris and Eric Woolley will cruise the Mediterranean later this year on the QE2 to mark the anniversary, which is tomorrow (Saturday).
The couple, who live in Harlaxton Road, have sailed all over the world after getting the cruising bug when celebrating their silver anniversary with their first taste of life on board a cruise ship.
Chris said: “It was a little ship around the Greek Islands. You are so well looked after and nothing is too much trouble for the crew. The food is wonderful and everything is spot on. You also meet so many different people.”
Chris, now 69, and Eric, 75, first met at a BMARC dance. They were friends for a long while before romance finally blossomed.
They were married in St Wulfram’s Church and had their reception at the Royal British Legion, where Chris’s father was president.
Chris, who grew up in Grantham, worked in a card shop and after getting married was a bingo caller at the Granada. Eric is from Leadenham where he went to school, before working for a Lincoln company making canvasses for trucks. He then became a bricklayer, working all over the county.
Stil in their 20s, Eric suggested they go to South Africa. Chris said: “I thought he meant a holiday but the next thing I know the house is up for sale. I was 23 when we went, and had two children.”
The couple took advantage of cheap flights to the country and lived near Johannes burg. They were first taken to a hotel which was so bad they refused to stay there. They eventually lived in Rolls Royce Street in Impala Park. Eric worked for several firms and Chris did receptionist and telephonist jobs before Eric hurt his spine in an accident and they decided to return home after six years in Africa.
Eric went on to work for Aveling Barford and McFarlanes, before finally working for Fenland Foods, from where he retired. Chris worked for British Steel and at Grantham Hospital.
The couple have two daughters, Helen and Carole, and four grandchildren.
Recently, the couple went back to work when they opened a shop selling china and porcelain. Eric said: “Chris has always had a love of china and always wanted a shop. We did the figures and Pygott & Hall had a shop that came up on Westgate, and they sorted everything for us. “
The shop is called Number 14 and is open three days a week.
The couple still travel a lot and enjoy going to the theatre in London. They will enjoy a family meal this weekend to mark their anniversary.