Double diamond anniversary for Falmouth couple
A Falmouth couple, who were married in the same year that the Queen ascended to the throne, are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary this week.
Doreen and Leslie Kendall are currently in the mid Atlantic bound for New York on the “Queen Mary 2”, but before they left on their celebratory voyage they shared their memories of 60 married years with the Packet.
The couple met at a Butlins holiday camp in Pwllheli, North Wales when Leslie was 22 and Doreen just 15.
Doreen, now aged 78, said: “It started as a holiday romance and I only met him on the very last day - He was one of those who went for two weeks.”
It took about 20 hours to get from his family home in Flushing to the holiday camp, 85-year-old Leslie explained, and he needed a longer stay to recover from the journey.
Doreen, who originally hails from Castle Bromwich near Birmingham, said: “Afterwards I wrote to him and he wrote back and we went to visit each other as often as we could.
“We kept all of the letters to begin with – we had hundreds.”
Eventually, after several house moves, this collection of love letters was pared down, but a precious few are still kept by Doreen and Leslie to remind them of their fledgling romance.
They were wed in Doreen’s hometown in 1952, with her aunties taking care of the catering, her father providing the beer and a local school hall playing host to the reception.
Having tied the knot sixty years ago, the couple have shared several special anniversaries with Elizabeth II and even had a fleeting glimpse of her when she visited the town in 1977.
Doreen added: “It was so lovely, she was happy, really smiling. I’m a royalist, very much so and to me it was as exciting as my wedding day – it truly was.”
Despite this royal connection, the couple firmly believe that it is good old fashioned love and compromise that has kept them together for all these years.
Leslie’s advice is to be tolerant: “you can’t impose your will upon your partner,” he said.
“You have to take her views into account and we rub along like that really. It’s a bit of give and take and some tender loving care.”
This love and respect has seen them blessed with their two children David and Jane, five grandchildren Claire, Nichola, Russell, Martin and Ruth and great grandchildren Matilda and Oliver.
Doreen said: “I was quite homesick to begin with but we have got family now. He’s been a marvellous husband, absolutely wonderful. He’s very placid, very patient.”
“In other words I do as I’m told,” Leslie added.