Four celebrations for Langham couple’s 60th anniversary

Pat and Gwen Fordham EMN-140907-103130001
Pat and Gwen Fordham EMN-140907-103130001
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A people loving couple had four celebrations to mark their diamond wedding anniversary.

Gwen and Pat Fordham hosted an afternoon tea for neighbours, a barbecue for family, a service at the Oakham Baptist church where they worship, and a tea-party for a combined exercise class and friendship group.

“We are people people” said Mrs Fordham, 81, a former exercise teacher, who still runs classes once a week.

“That’s what our lives have been all about - giving ourselves to other people.”

She attributed the 60 happy years of marriage to their “love for each other and love of other people”.

Former Samaritan Mr Fordham, 82, a volunteer at the friendship group for people with mental health problems, also believes that “love” has been a key ingredient in their successful marriage.

But he added: “Our Christian faith which we have both had since we were teenagers has been a great help.

“Being able to see each other’s points of view, accepting the fact we all make mistakes and being tolerant are also important.”

The couple, of The Glade, in Ranksborough Hall Park, Langham, met while living in Hertford, where Mr Fordham was a journalist on the local newspaper and his would- be wife worked at its print works.

“We went to the same Methodist church where we also used to meet,” said Mr Fordham.

In the six decades that they have been married, the couple raised four children - Lesley, 57, Alison, 56, Wendy, 52 and Tim 47.

All four children along with five of their nine grandchildren and one great granddaughter were at the family barbecue held on Thursday, July 3 - the date of the couple’s diamond wedding anniversary.

People were the main focus of their married life, said Mrs Fordham.

“For more than 30 years we used to take in students who came on crash courses from countries where their education had been disrupted because of troubles. We had students from Nigeria, Lebanon, Iran, Burma and most of Europe.”

The couple, who also help with Rutland Foodbank, moved to Langham from Croydon seven years ago to be closer to their son and daughter.