A COUNCILLOR who moved to Britain from Bulgaria ... [more]
Monday, 14 October 2019
A WOMAN received two surprises from her husband to mark their diamond wedding anniversary.
Robin and Pat Swift, of Westleigh Drive, Sonning Common, were joined by 32 friends and family at Badgemore Park in Henley for the occasion.
Mr Swift, 83, organised the celebration as a surprise for his 82-year-old wife.
She said: “It was wonderful because I thought we were just going out for lunch. When we arrived and I saw all these people, I thought something must be going on. It was like a dream really.
“I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, there are probably two functions going on’.”
Mr Swift also bought her a set of 18-carat diamond earrings and a necklace while they both received a letter of congratulations from the Queen.
The couple first met in Kent in January 1958 when Mr Swift joined the Tunbridge Wells branch of Lloyds Bank where his wife was working as a clerk. She invited him to a dance with her then boyfriend because he was new to the area.
Mrs Swift recalled: “There was this new chap in the bank, so I said, ‘shall we invite him to come to the dance?’
“We drove there and Robin was in the back. He put his hand up from the back seat and removed one of my earrings. I thought ‘that’s cheeky’ but I just kept quiet about it.
“We all danced with different partners and I had a dance with Robin. That was when our relationship began.
“We had to keep it very quiet at the bank. We were not allowed to have relationships with other people in the bank.
“We went out to dances together and seemed to get on well. Then we got engaged after about 18 months. He was very nice and kind and I liked him a lot. We decided it would be nice to get married so we did.
“He was just a very nice, friendly fellow — very sweet. I had lost my father and had to look after my mother and she liked Robin as well. I just thought it would be a good match.”
They couple were married in Welshpool on September 19, 1959.
Mrs Swift said that over the years she had learnt the importance of compromise in their relationship and accepted her husband’s passion for sport as he played rugby and cricket on weekends.
“Sport was very important to him,” she said. “He enjoyed it and it didn’t worry me. We didn’t make arrangements for anything to happen other than sport at the weekends.
“He probably would have left me if I said he couldn’t go to rugby but it’s give and take, I think, that’s kept it going. I’ve never been a demanding wife.”
The couple have two daughters, Gillian, who was born in 1962, and Yvonne, who arrived in 1964. They now have three grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Mrs Swift said: “The years have gone by very quickly. You think, ‘Where have these 60 years gone?’
“We are lucky to still be alive and together. Not many people have relationships that last for that length of time today, so it is wonderful.
“Give and take is not that difficult. If you love someone you stay with them but everyone has their ups and downs. If you really love someone they balance out.”
Mrs Swift was presented with her jewellery by her great granddaughter at a family dinner in the Greyhound pub in Peppard.
She said: “I was absolutely amazed. I had no idea Robin had bought them but it was a lovely gesture. I have got to keep going now so I can wear them.”
Mr Swift said: “We just got along one with the other. As long as our health holds out, I think we’ll be okay. That’s what it’s all about.”
07 October 2019
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