After 60 years of marriage, an Ilkeston couple today mark the milestone of their diamond wedding anniversary.
Frank, 84, and Rita Gregory, 83, of Litchen Close, Ilkeston courted for three years before tying the knot at St Mary’s Church at 3pm on Saturday February 27 1954.
Both born in Ilkeston, the couple met after Frank began work as manager of the New Theatre cinema on Lord Haddon Road which sat right next to Rita’s mother’s sweet shop.
“The projectionist told me there was a new manager starting,” said Rita, who is now retired.
“He’ll be just right for you he said. From the moment I saw Frank I never left him alone.”
Frank recalled meeting Rita when he bought cigarettes from her mother’s shop. “Rita used to walk me to the bus stop at night when I used to finish late and it went from there.”
The couple now have two children, Ian and Mark, and three grandchildren, Jordan, Jack and Owen.
“This year is a big year for us, first our diamond wedding anniversary, our son turning 50, then our grandson turning 21 and Frank’s 85th,” said Rita.
“Its all very exciting.”
Frank has bought Rita a diamond wedding ring to mark the occasion and the couple will be celebrating with family at the Rutland Cottage. There are even hopes to receive a congratulatory letter from the Queen.
When commenting on the secret to their success, the pair admitted they had none other than looking after one another and keeping strong through the ups and downs.
“Frank buys me flowers every week, and he has done ever since we were married, he’s an old romantic at heart.” said Rita.