A Penrith couple who had to get special dispensation from the Army to get married have celebrated 60 years of marriage.
Edward Ware was called up to do his national service with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (REME) when he was due to tie the knot with Marlene on 19th November, 1960.
“We had to write to the War Office to get permission to get married,” said Mrs Ware.
“They gave us a fortnight’s grace and we made the headlines in the Herald. They read something like ‘Army relented and the wedding went ahead’.”
The couple, who now live at Clifford Road, were married at St Andrew’s Parish Church, Penrith, on what Mrs Ware said was a “cold but beautifully sunny day.”
Mr Ware went on to serve in the REME for two-and-a-half years, with most of that time spent in Germany.
The couple met in Penrith when Edward approached Marlene, who had just turned 15, and asked her out.
“He took a fancy to me one way or another and came across and asked if I would like to go out with him,” said Mrs Ware, aged 78. “I had not really been out with anyone else. He was my first boyfriend.”
Their first date was a coffee at the Dunrobin, in Queen Street, which had a juke box.
Mr Ware, aged 81, was educated at the Boys’ County School in Penrith and did an agricultural apprenticeship at Newton Rigg and Carlisle College.
He was an agricultural engineer for 15 years at West Cumberland Farmers and the spent 25 years as a maintenance fitter at British Gypsum before taking early retirement.
Mrs Ware worked for nine years in Tom Nicholson’s clothes shop in Market Square.
The couple have three children — Alison, Louise and Michelle — and five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
They are both very keen gardeners and used to enjoy dancing at various venues around the town when they were younger.
Travel has also been an important part of their life together and they have twice been to America and New Zealand.
Mr Ware has used his engineering skills to completely renovate a bright red and yellow David Brown 850 tractor which Mrs Ware said was a “heap of rubbish” when he first bought it.
It has since won Mr Ware a number of prizes and certificates at shows he takes it to.
The couple had planned a family celebration at the Roundthorn, Penrith, but have been forced to put it back a full year.
Mrs Ware said that the secret to a long and happy marriage was giving each other a kiss at bedtime and wishing each other another good day for tomorrow.
“Like everybody else we do fall out, but it only lasts half an hour or more because he just bursts out laughing and I give in,” said Mrs Ware.