It was a very special day for Ken Ridgeon when he celebrated his diamond wedding with beloved wife Jenny because it was also his 86th birthday.
The Melton couple were whisked off on the train to the plush George Hotel in Stamford by daughter Alison to mark the occasion in style.
Jenny (79) said: “Alison opened a bottle of Champagne on the train and she played The Anniversay Waltz on her mobile phone.
“There were quite a few people on the train as well.
“It was absolutely fabulous and we had a really super day.”
The couple met at a mutual friend’s 21st birthday at the old Bell Hotel, in Leicester, the year of the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
They started courting and eventually decided to marry, the ceremony being held on September 17, 1955, in Oadby, where Jenny originates from.
She recalled: “My uncle, who was the vicar at St Mary’s in Melton at the time, did the service. We had the reception at the church hall opposite the church and our friends who were in the catering business did all the food.”
The Ridgeons honeymooned in France, driving to Cannes in the South of France, via Paris. They lived in Leicester and in Houghton on the Hill before settling in Melton 32 year ago, in the house they still live in today in Byron Way.
Many Meltonians will remember them from when they ran the King’s Head in Nottingham Street for several years. Jenny said: “We took it over after it had a re-fit and it was a very successful pub back then.”
Jenny worked at the former Melton Volunteer Bureau for 15 years and she founded Melton Furniture Project from a stable at the back of the King’s Head.
Ken, who formerly served with the catering corps in the Army in the Middle East, also worked in security at Pera in Melton.
Their main shared hobby was caravanning and they enjoyed holidays all over the UK and Europe for many years.
Aside from Alison (53), who lives in Melton, the couple have another daughter Louise (47), who is at Sileby, and a 55-year-old son David, who is living in Nuneaton. They also have seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The Ridgeons enjoyed a big family celebration party at their home on Sunday.
Ken added: “We have no regrets. We have had a great life together. We’ve travelled all over the world. There has to be a lot of understanding from both of you when you are together this long.”