With one hundred years of marriage between them, two Irchester couples who tied the knot on exactly the same day have celebrated their golden weddings.
June 7, 1969, was a big day as both Ann and David Stewart, and David and Christine Cumberpatch, both walked down the aisle – the Cumberpatches in Wellingborough and the Stewarts in Hemel Hempstead.
Christine and David’s nuptials took place at 2pm and two hours later and fifty miles away Ann and David also became newly-weds.
After a quick honeymoon in Falmouth, Ann and David moved into a brand new house in Roman Way in Irchester – a semi-detached house costing £3,550 - and have lived in the village ever since.
Watford-born David, 72, joked: “I had to learn a whole new language – k’ent, sh’ent and ‘ent!”
Ann, 69, added: “I liked it when people said good morning, afternoon or evening – even though everyone thought we were ‘Londoners’.”
Mr Stewart, an electrician, finished his working life at construction company Higgs and Hill, whilst his wife worked until her retirement at Tesco, Wellingborough.
The couple celebrated their anniversary with their sons Mark, Paul, Andrew and James and their grandchildren Harry and Lottie, at a special luxury weekend at Center Parcs.
Both couples worked in factories in and around Irchester with the wives at one stage becoming colleagues at Greens shoe factory in the village.
Although David Cumberpatch was born in Irchester, married life with Christine began at David’s parents’ house in the village moving into their own home for the birth of their daughter Sharon in 1970 followed by brother Darrel in 1972.
The couple had met when working at Chamberlain’s shoe factory in Wellingborough.
Christine remembered: “I saw David and wanted to know his name.
“ I went to the clocking-in machine where everyone’s names were on cards and saw he was called ‘Cumberpatch’ and thought wow what a name – I was just a Smith at the time.
“Not long after we bumped into each other at The Chequers in Cambridge Street, starting courting and we were engaged a year later.”
David, 74, and Christine, 71, celebrated their fifty golden years with 29 friends and family, at The Miller in Wellingborough, including their children and their partners and grandchildren Mark, Kirsty and Lauren and great-grandchildren Lily and Daisy.
Both couples planned their wedding to avoid a clash with the 1969 FA Cup final and the grooms' love of football remains to this day, David Cumberpatch a Spurs fan and David Stewart supporting his home town team of Watford FC.
Meeting to celebrate their 50-year milestone the couples agreed that their time together had flown by.
Ann said: “We had quite a tough time bringing-up our 1972 children during power cuts.
“ I think we’ll be the last generation to reach the 50-year mark.”
Christine agreed: “Our lives as women have changed – instead of us doing all the housework our husbands have helped us with the chores – Dave’s very good with the hoover.”
And the husbands’ point of view?
“The secret to a successful marriage is give and take – I give and she takes.
“Seriously, a marriage takes patience,” said David Cumberpatch.
David Stewart agrees: "We have just got on with it, persevered and taken the rough with the smooth.”