TODAY marks 60 years of love and laughter for one Winchester couple who have rarely spent a day apart.
Derek and June Hobbs, both 81 of Teg Down Meads – their home for the last 52 years – were married on August 28, 1954 at St Bartholomew’s in Hyde after meeting at a local electrics company developing pylons.
Mrs Hobbs, then Mower, met her future husband at Riley and Neate Ltd when it had moved to Abbey Mill. The couple soon hit it off.
“I started in 1948 and Derek started in 1950 and we started to go out together on May 12 1951,” Mrs Hobbs said. “We met outside the library and he was on his bike. The next day we went out along Nun’s Walk though he didn’t have anywhere to put his bicycle so he left it at my house.”
Mr Hobbs said: “I used to cycle all over England but the furthest I could get June to cycle was Bambridge!”
Not content with living and working side-by-side the couple also recently spent time in hospital together.
After being diagnosed with bowel cancer earlier in the year Mrs Hobbs had to undergo a complicated operation in March at Royal Hampshire County Hospital that took seven-and-a-half hours. After waiting for an operation for eight months Mr Hobbs also got signed up for an operation during the same week as his wife.
“It was lovely,” Mr Hobbs said. “No washing up or chores for six weeks. It was like being on holiday!”
Mrs Hobbs said: “We have always been together, apart from when he went to do his national service.”
“When fit young men were made to do some physical work,” Mr Hobbs added. “I managed to wangle it so I got posted at Marchwood. I taught the army cadet force at Winchester College. One of the things we did was we built a bridge across the River Itchen. It was certainly an unusual thing to do and the lads made me put my car on to make sure it was safe!”
The couple have three children, Claire, 53, Martin, 51, and Graham, 48, and five grandchildren; Emma, Katherine, Sophie, James and Chloe. They’ve also added great-granddaughter Katie to the clan.
When asked for their secret to their long and happy marriage they simply shrug and smile in unison.
“We’ve never had any real arguments,” Mr Hobbs said. “We have a difference of opinion sometimes but that’s all.”
June said: “If there’s something new we just talk it through, like 'should we have a party at the Wessex Hotel?'”
The couple are hosting a special celebration with around 50 guests on Saturday (August 30) at the hotel – the same place where they held their golden anniversary party.
To commemorate their diamond wedding moment the couple hope to replicate their wedding day photo though not everyone will look quite the same.
Derek’s brother, who lives in Australia, will be ‘Skyped’ on the day and his picture added to the scene while the flower girl, now aged 63, might look a little different 60 years on.