‘We’ve always done everything together’: Northampton lovebirds celebrate diamond wedding anniversary

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An inseparable couple from Northampton are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary today (23 September).

Maureen, 78, and Brian Ingle, 83, got married that day 60 years ago and just yesterday received a very special letter from Her Majesty the Queen to mark the occasion.

Maureen knew the letter was coming as it was organized by a family friend and she was very excited to surprise her husband with it.

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Brian and Maureen Ingle when they got married on September 23, 1961 and celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary today in 2021. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds

She said: “They must have told me because they needed to get a copy of my marriage certificate before doing it, so I knew it a few months ago, but he didn’t and I have it. kept a secret from him. because I knew he would be absolutely thrilled. “

While many married couples lucky enough to cross the incredible 60-year mark typically celebrated with a party or maybe even a romantic getaway, Brian joked that they would actually do something less conventional – go to the hospital so he can have a brain scan.

Maureen was only 15 when she first met 18-year-old Brian. Brian, at the time, was in the Royal Air Force and his mother wanted to move into a bigger house when he returned home. in Northampton.

Maureen, reflecting on the first time she has laid eyes on her husband in 60 years, said: “I saw him through the window; he had a scooter and I fell in love with him right away when I got there. ‘ve seen and nothing has been said or finished.

Maureen and Brian Ingle celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds

“Then one day I was walking down the street – coming home – and apparently I knew her sister but I didn’t know her sister lived there. I didn’t know who she was and her mother leaned over her. head out the window and said, ‘Brian is going to take you to the Salon on Saturday!’ “

Brian, laughing, added: “I didn’t know about this!”

Maureen continued, “I was overjoyed! That was the start, wasn’t it? We went out that night and have never separated since. Brian asked me to go out the next day, he was 21 the following Monday and that’s it, we were never apart from that point on, ever. “

Maureen’s father told her that she was not allowed to marry until she was 18. Their eighteenth birthday fell on September 9, 1961, and the couple married at St Michael and All Angels Church on Perry Street on September 23 later that month.

“We have always done everything together.” Photo: Kirsty Edmonds

Brian said: “Now you know why we are celebrating our 60th birthday and you also know why I have my brain scanned!”

From there Brian and Maureen bought their first home – an apartment in Holly Road – then over the years moved to Parklands, Earls Barton, Kingsthorpe, and then into their current home in Lings.

Brian, after leaving the RAF, began working in advertising for The Chronicle & Echo in 1954 when two editions of the newspaper came out each day. He returned to the National Service from 1957 to 1959, worked at The Independent magazine where he was promoted to advertising director then, in 1976, he returned to The Chronicle as commercial director then advertising director before leaving the newspaper in 1990.

Brian said: “The Chronicle, in my day we were like family. It was like a club, everyone knew each other.”

Maureen and Brian Ingle got married that day 60 years ago. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds

During this time, Maureen worked in various stores across Northampton and spent many years working at Church’s China in The Ridings Arcade. She then worked for Marks and Spencer in Abington Street until her retirement.

Brian and Maureen have two daughters, four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Their youngest great-grandchild will be one year old on December 31.

Maureen joked, “I said I wanted someone to make me a great-grandmother before I died – why did I say that? They’re crawling in the woods!”

A former chess champion, Brian and his chess team won numerous awards at the time, including a cup in London, which he had to go get. He even taught his wife a thing or two so she could join in the fun.

Maureen said: “I tried to learn to play to keep up with him and I actually played and I wasn’t too bad – in fact you even put me on the squad one night when you was small and was actually okay until they all came over to watch and then I collapsed. “

Brian, reflecting on one competitive chess game in particular, said: “I played against a girl from Poland. She had her mother with her and we started playing and I just beat her at the end of the game. ‘a movement and she said,’ I can see where I went wrong, that was the 25th move ‘, but you remember, right? I went there oh yes, yes! “

Maureen and Brian have been invited to share some of their happiest memories they have shared together over the past 60 years. Maureen immediately recalled a trip they took to London after Brian won a Chronicle & Echo contest in the late sixties.

She said: “We got on the train first class and stayed at this hotel, which was the Tower Hotel at the time, and it overlooked the Thames and Tower Bridge and we had a window directly facing Tower Bridge. and I fell in love with the bridge and watched it go up and down.

“At that time it was something we weren’t used to doing and it was absolutely great, we had a great time and I said for a long time that I would love to go back to this hotel . “

They returned to this hotel about 10 years ago when their oldest daughter organized the trip. They stayed in the same hotel with a similar room that overlooked the bridge, which “fascinated” Maureen. They described how they walked along the sea wall and then visited a restaurant that looked like a theater. Visitors dined in “boxes” and diners could look over their balconies to enjoy the entertainment and performances at ground level.

Maureen, speaking of her highlight of this particular trip, said: “We took a river cruise and a jazz band was on board and we had dinner on that boat and hiked the Thames and it was beautiful.

“It was a beautiful evening, the weather these few days was beautiful and this boat was absolutely great and the band and we danced. It was really lovely – it was shattering so I never forgot it.”

Another memorable trip they took together was for their 50th birthday in Jersey when they visited Elizabeth Castle.

Maureen said: “They were doing a demonstration with the cannon and the guy over there said, ‘Is this someone’s birthday?’ No one answered so my oldest daughter spoke up and said it was my mom and dad’s golden wedding anniversary and the cannon was fired in our honor and- “Maureen stood up from the couch to pick up a small gold cannon model on top of the fireplace, “My youngest daughter went to buy it for me!”

Chronicle & Echo The interview concluded by asking the happy couple the all-important inevitable question about their diamond wedding anniversary: what is the secret of a long and happy marriage?

Brian, after thinking for a few seconds, replied, “I think, generally speaking, it’s something simple … like patience and understanding. It might sound cheesy. We went to my service. niece in a church and the vicar said the bride and groom, why did you get together? They said because it was comfortable. “

Maureen, okay, said, “I think that’s it, feeling comfortable being yourself with someone.”

Congratulations to Brian and Maureen Ingle on their 60th wedding anniversary and we wish you many happy years together to come.

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