When Bob Locke was asked to ‘look after’ his friend’s girlfriend, he had no idea he would be doing so for the rest of his life.
He met Gloria at a dance at what is now the Dome Cinema in Worthing and that moment led to a long and happy marriage, with the couple celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on September 12.
Gloria Locke, 79, explained: “I was actually going out with someone else. He was just about to go in the services and Bob was about to come out, so he asked him to look after me. And he has.”
She recalled her mother had made her a dress especially for the evening.
Gloria lived in Lancing at the time and Bob came from Worthing but after he went into the army, his parents moved to Kent, so when he and Gloria decided they were serious, he took lodgings in Lancing.
They were married on September 12, 1959, at North Lancing parish church and lived in Lancing for 45 years.
They have two children, Alan and Julia, and Bob actually delivered his daughter at home as she came quickly, before they could get hold of the midwife.
Bob, 83, worked at Marylebone Optical Company for 45 years but when they pulled out of Worthing, he and Gloria decided not to move north, where the company was based.
They moved to Seamill Crescent, Worthing, and Bob joined the ambulance service, working there until retirement at 55.
They have two granddaughters but, sadly, they lost their grandson at the age of 24 when he was killed in an accident.
Gloria said: “Apart from that, we have had a lovely happy life.”
The couple celebrated their anniversary with a meal at the Windsor House Hotel.
Gloria has followed in the footsteps of her two sisters by celebrating her diamond wedding, as both have also been lucky enough to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversaries.
Pearl, the eldest, and her husband Len Gammon live in Hove and Brenda Wren lives in St Albans but sadly her husband died in March.