A couple who spent the first four months of their marriage living apart due to the Suez Crisis have celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.
Maureen and Geoff Holt, from Richmond Street in Accrington, were forced to bring their wedding date forward when Geoff, an engineer, was called up to the Suez Crisis in 1956.
Then after getting wed on the Friday, the cricketer, now 82, had to leave the country on the Sunday and did not return until New Year’s Eve, leaving the couple no time for a honeymoon.
Great-grandmother Maureen, 81, said: “We had just bought a house in Rawtenstall and I had to furnish it all myself.
“It was very hard, but it was wonderful when he came back on New Year’s Eve. I thought he wasn’t coming back at first, that he’d missed the bus from Manchester, the White Lady as they called it.
“I waited half an hour for him and he didn’t come but then I heard his boots come up the cobbles.”
The couple left Lancashire for Africa because of Geoff’s work and spent time living in Durban, in South Africa, and Malawi, an adjustment they found hard.
Maureen said: “In Malawi, if the president’s car went past you had to stop and bow and you couldn’t wear the clothes you wanted.
“Women couldn’t wear mini skirts or you would just get deported and there was no long hair allowed for men - they all had to have a short back and sides-style.”
On returning from Africa in 1972, the couple, unable to find a house in Rawtenstall, settled in Accrington, where they have lived ever since.
But they were to endure more tough times when the eldest of their two sons, Ian, died suddenly at the age of 53.
But the couple, who met in a pub through a mutual friend, have stuck together, something Maureen says is not always easy to do.
She said: “You have to work at a marriage.
“It’s alright saying ‘don’t go to bed on an argument’, but it’s not true.
“We argue even now but of course we love each other.
“He likes watching his sports on one TV and I like watching my soaps on the other, but that suits us fine.”
The pair celebrated their 60-year milestone with a get-together with family at the Calf’s Head Hotel in Worston.