A WINCHESTER couple have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with a special delivery from the Royal family.

Harestock residents Pat and Tony Wood received a card from the King and Queen to mark 60 years of married life.

The pair met at night school in Portsmouth in 1961.

Pat, who is a keen artist, was working as a draughtsperson for Portsmouth Water at the time.  She decided to do a Spanish course and Tony was her tutor.

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They married at St Cuthbert’s Church in the Baffins area of Portsmouth on Easter Monday, March 30, 1964.

Hampshire Chronicle: Tony and Pat on their wedding dayTony and Pat on their wedding day (Image: Contributed)

Pat said: “The ceremony was lovely. I’d belonged to the church for a long time and they all made an effort to make it special for us. I’d been teaching at the Sunday School and lots of the children came to the wedding. It was nice to see so many people there.

“I can’t believe it was 60 years ago. It seems like it was only last week.”

The couple went on honeymoon to France and stayed with the parents of Pat’s French penfriend.

They lived in Portsmouth, Bracknell and Eastbourne before moving to Winchester in 1977.  During this time, Tony was a teacher and head of languages at Kings' School from 1985 to 1995 and at Danemark School prior to that. Meanwhile, Pat was a secretary in the education department at Hampshire County Council.

Pat continued to run Sunday Schools including at St Barnabus in Weeke and she also ran craft sessions for the local Brownies.

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Tony still enjoys modern languages, reads French and Spanish literature and poetry, and is currently teaching himself Italian and Portuguese. He enjoys chatting with ex-pupils whom he often bumps into around Winchester and is delighted that his younger daughter is married to one of them (Iain Whittick).

Hampshire Chronicle: Tony and PatTony and Pat (Image: Mary Blaxland)

The pair said that the highlight of their marriage was bringing up two daughters Gillian (57) and Woody (nee Judith, 55), family holidays in France, and the birth of granddaughter Alice who is now 17 years old.

They celebrated their 60th anniversary with a meal out at the Hotel du Vin and a special anniversary cake.

Alongside a message from the Royal family, the couple also messages from Steve Brine MP, local councillors and a card and flowers from their nearby Waitrose.