Findon couple celebrate their diamond wedding

Jack and Mary Broadhurst on their wedding day.
Jack and Mary Broadhurst on their wedding day.

TWO friends flipped a coin to see who could take the girl of their dreams on a date – and last week the winner celebrated 60 years of happily married life with his now wife.

Jack and Mary Broadhurst, of Paddock Way, Findon, were married on March 22, 1952, at St Michael’s Church in Bournemouth.

Jack, 81, had met Mary, 80, in May, 1947, when he and his friend had arranged a meeting with Mary and her friend at a park.

Jack said: “We saw Mary home, but neither of us fancied her friend. Me and my friend Roy tossed a coin to see who could take her to the local youth club.”

Jack won the flip, and when he took her on a date said he quickly realised how much the two had in common.

“Both of us were very keen on ballroom dancing and we have been ever since,” he said.

Jack said the only time he has spent away from Mary was when he did two years’ National Service in the RAF, and he said when he got back he did not waste any time before proposing.

The childhood sweethearts now have two children and two grandsons, and say although they are happy their grandsons are in relationships, things were not always as easy as they are now.

Jack said: “Before we were married, we decided to travel from Poole to Eastbourne by coach. We booked into a hotel to get to know each other.

“When we arrived at the hotel, I was put at one end of the hotel and Mary down the other because we weren’t married.”

The couple still travel regularly and attend the gym two or three times a week.

When asked what was it about Mary that kept him with her for so long, Jack said: “I have very long hair, the reason I grow my hair is to hide the thumbprints.

“I think a good argument, occasionally, so that you can make up is important. Also, do not set your limits too high for material things in life. Keep well within your pocket and what you can afford.”

Jack is one of 10 children, and invited all of his and Mary’s relatives, old neighbours and friends to the renewal of the vows on Saturday at Findon Parish Church, followed by a lunch a Findon Village Hall and a cutting of the cake at the couple’s house in High Mead.

The couple also had a private lunch on Thursday, but Jack said: “Mary has got a real difficulty in persuading me to go out for a meal because she’s such an excellent cook.”