‘She was the star of the dance’ remembers Grantham husband celebrating diamond anniversary
A couple who have lived all over the world together after meeting at a dance, are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary on Thursday.
Maurice and Patricia Whincup first met at a dance when they were both living in Hull.
Recovering from a broken engagement and back home from RAF service, 23-year-old Maurice was immediately taken with 22-year-old nurse Patricia.
“She was the star of the dance,” says Maurice, now 84. “I was footloose and fancy-free,” jokes Patricia, 83.
They were married at St Wilfrid Church, Hull, which required a special dispensation from the Pope because unlike Patricia, Maurice had not been brought up Catholic.
His RAF career specialising in radio communication took them all over the world, spending time living in places as varied as Singapore, Kenya and Shetland, before being called to RAF North Luffenham and settling in Grantham.
They now live in Northcliffe Road, close to where Patricia spent time as a nurse at Grantham Hospital’s Welby Ward. Maurice also worked at Industrial Engines, before returning to the RAF in a civilian role.
The couple had four children - Trisha, Linda, Andrew and Michael. Sadly Linda died aged only a week old, and Andrew was killed while riding his motorbike. Their son Michael lives nearby with his wife and daughter Rebecca.
Maurice and Patricia are clearly very proud of their grandchildren, with Trisha also having a daughter called Aisha and a son, Finn. Their impressive paintings adorn their grandparents’ house, alongside Maurice’s own watercolours.
“Maurice and the family are very artistic - but I’m not!” adds Patricia. Her husband’s artwork, including planes well-known to him, also stretches to photography , while Patricia is happier sitting down to complete a crossword.
Both are also keen gardeners and are looking forward to holding a large party next Saturday in their garden to celebrate their anniversary.
Meanwhile on the actual day they will be attending a reunion of around 40 others who also served at RAF Seletar in Singapore, which is taking place at The Farrier pub.