A couple who lived in 38 different homes all over the world before retiring in Stamford have just celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
Kevin and Pat Gallagher, who live in Emmanuel Road, were married at 8am on November 17, 1956, at a church in Manchester where they were brought up.
The ceremony was booked at short notice when Kevin, who was in the Royal Air Force, was told he was being sent to Malaya for a posting.
The couple had met four years earlier at a church dance and decided to tie the knot quickly so Pat would be allowed to join Kevin overseas.
Pat, 80, who was working as a nurse at the time, said: “We had told the priest we needed to get married quickly and the 8am mass was the only time he could do it.
“We had our immediate family and close friends with us on the day. I remember it was a very foggy morning.”
The newlyweds couldn’t afford a proper honeymoon but did spend a few days with friends in Bath.
Just two weeks after the wedding, Kevin was sent off to Malaya. He had only just returned from a two-year stint in Egypt. Pat followed soon afterwards, with the journey taking 32 days by sea.
They were given private accommodation in Kuala Lumpur and lived there for two and a half years.
Kevin, 82, spent a total of 38 years in the RAF and during that time he served in many different countries.
The couple have four children – one born in Malaya, one born in England, one born in Cyprus and one in Germany. They have five grandchildren.
Kevin’s final posting was at RAF Wittering and the couple settled in Stamford when he retired.
The couple held an early diamond wedding party in the summer, when the weather was nicer, and friends and family travelled from all over the world for the event at The William Cecil in Stamford.
On their actual anniversary, they enjoyed a meal at The George Hotel.
Kevin said: “We’ve lived very busy lives – and our home in Stamford is the 39th we have lived in. After all the travelling, it was nice to settle down. We had vowed not to travel again, but our eldest daughter moved to Australia so we changed our minds and every year we go to her or she comes to us.”
Pat said that, like all couples, they have had ups and downs, but having the patience and inclination to work through problems together was one of the secrets to a long marriage.