A couple who met in Alton’s Palace Cinema in 1958 are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary today (Thursday).
Bob Ilsley had a Teddy Boy quiff when he hopped over the back of a seat and landed next to the girl who four years later became his wife Margaret.
They married at St Mary’s Church in Bentworth on July 14, 1962, and Bob’s hair then took on a Tony Curtis style.
Bob, 83, was born in Bentworth but left just as Margaret, 79, moved there. After Bentworth they lived in Binsted and Holybourne before moving to Brandon Close, Alton, in 1975.
Margaret worked “part-time-ish”, including at Boots, as a shop window dresser, and at Sainsbury’s when it opened.
Bob was a farm stockman – feeding 1,000 pigs – then did building work, had a spell at animal feed company BOCM and finally spent 21 years as gardener and groundsman at Alton Convent School.
Margaret said: “We have a lovely garden – we both do that – and Bob really likes horse racing. You can always tell when he’s won – the demeanour of the face is not the same if he hasn’t won!”
Daughter Amanda was born in 1964, but it was not until their 17th wedding anniversary in 1979 that Joanne arrived to complete their family.
They have three grandsons – Amanda’s son Elliott, 24, who acts, writes and has done script editing for ITV, and Joanne’s children Archie, ten, and Harrison, five.
Their anniversary party today will be attended by around 40 family members and friends, with Elliott streaming 1950s and 1960s music for them.
Asked for the secret to a 60-year marriage, Margaret said: “Hard work and a lot of tolerance!”