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Bourne couple separated by National Service after first meeting mark 65th wedding anniversary




A couple who spent a year apart in different countries after meeting for the first time celebrated 65 years of marriage last week.

Roy and Joan Goldsmith received a card from the Queen to mark their blue sapphire anniversary last Wednesday (March 31).

The couple moved to Bourne in about 1976, making the short trip from Tongue End where they settled as a married couple and brought up their five children.

Roy and Joan Goldsmith at their Bourne home
Roy and Joan Goldsmith at their Bourne home

However, after meeting at a friend’s birthday party, the initial signs had not looked promising.

Roy departed the next day for Germany where he spent his National Service as a driver to the general staff.

"I didn't think she would write to me, but she did and it went from there," said Roy.

Roy and Joan on their wedding day at Glinton
Roy and Joan on their wedding day at Glinton

“I didn’t like him to start with," added Joan, who grew up in Stamford and met her husband-to-be aged 16.

“We were a group of youngsters who used to go about together and we gradually paired off and that's how we got together.

“I asked my dad if we could get married and he said 'you make your bed, you lie in it'."

After a year’s engagement, the couple were married at St Benedict’s Church, in Glinton, and had a reception at Peakirk Village Hall.

A special message from the Queen arrived at their Bourne home
A special message from the Queen arrived at their Bourne home

Along with raising sons David, Kevin, Kenneth, and Richard, and daughter Carol, Joan (83) also worked on the land and in catering.

Left with a sense of duty after his spell in the Army, Roy combined full-time employment with five years with the auxiliary fire service in Bourne, and then 22 years with Lincolnshire Police as a special constable, rising to sergeant.

“I left school at 15, started work the next day and never had a day off until I retired when I was 83," he added.

“On that day I had an offer of another job, but my wife said 'that’s enough' and I had to retire!"

Roy served in post-war Germany during his National Service in the Army
Roy served in post-war Germany during his National Service in the Army

As well as the card from the Queen, Roy (87) also had a close brush with royalty while working for his dad, Percy, a racehorse trainer and former jockey.

“The Queen Mother was in the paddock and I was leading a horse round when suddenly it reared up and I trod on her foot," he explained.

The couple have a shared passion for travel and bingo - clocking up more than 100 years in bingo halls between them - and love spending time with their family - they have 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

“The big success of 65 years is that I don’t think the wife has ever got the better of me, and I haven’t got the better of her," Roy said.

“I love her as much as I did when we first met. She’s marvellous.”

Joan added: “It’s been a happy life.

“We have done what we wanted to do and have a wonderful family. We're very proud of all of them."



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