Panto trip led to a life-long romance

Brian and Margaret Holmes from Hastings celebrating their Golden wedding anniversary.
Brian and Margaret Holmes from Hastings celebrating their Golden wedding anniversary.

A TRIP to the local panto turned into a life-long romance for a couple who are set to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.

Brian Holmes was on his way to watch a performance by St John’s Church players in Hollington with his sister Shirley when they bumped into Margaret Gregory who was also on her way to the show in January 1954.

Brian and his sister sat in front of Margaret which turned into a bit of a distraction.

“He kept turning round to look at me,” said Margaret, whose father George worked at the Observer as a photographer. “I thought he was good looking and a nice boy. But he wasn’t getting in the way of me watching the show.

“I later found out we both went to the same church and before you knew it we were going out together.”

The pair teamed up at Hollington Methodist Church where Brian was a member of the Boys Brigade and Margaret was a member of the Girls Brigade.

Brian’s father advised them to have a break from each other for six months because they kept falling out with each other.

“We didn’t bother,” said Brian. “We just learned to tolerate and put up with each other.

“After 50 years of marriage we’re experts at that now.”

The couple married at Hollington Methodist Church on September 1, 1962.

They went on to have four children, Darren, Michaela, Gregory and Carl.

On September 1 they will take their four grandchildren to Bedgebury National Pinetum at Goudhurst for a celebratory day out and meal.

Now living in Sedlescombe Road North, St Leonards the couple are looking forward to their big day.

“It’s all about give and take,” added Brian.

“But I have a wonderful wife and we have a had a wonderful marriage.

“Who could have thought we would start going out at 12 and be married for so long.”