St Albans couple’s 60 years of bliss

BEING tolerant is the key to a long and happy marriage, according to a St Albans couple who celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary last week.

Douglas and Jean Bateman marked their 60th anniversary last Thursday after meeting at a dance in Verulamium Park in the late 1940s.

“I went along with a group of friends and there was a lady there dressed in white who took my fancy,” said Doug. “And she’s still my wife to this day!”

The pair continued to go to many dances with friends and began courting, before getting engaged in 1950.

They tied the knot at St Peter’s Church in St Albans, on July 28, 1951, while Doug was serving in the RAF.

In 1953 Doug, now 81, and Jean, 80, moved into their home in St Albans where they still live to this day. They went on to have two children, Paul and Lynn.

Over the years the couple have devoted much of their time to Scouting after Paul joined the Cubs aged eight.

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Jean said: “We’ve done a lot of fund-raising for the 17th St Albans Scout group and we have been awarded two silver acorns for our services to the Scouts.”

They also helped to build the Scout hall, along with other parents, family and friends and have held all their previous anniversary celebrations there.

However, the 60-year milestone was marked with a party on Sunday at the Hare and Hounds pub, on Sopwell Lane, where their grandson Tom is bar manager.

“It was lovely and they did us very proud,” said the couple, who also have two other grandchildren, Lauren and Leanne.

When asked what the secret to a long and happy marriage was, Douglas continued: “You have to be tolerant but also I was born in the days where if you made a promise, you stuck to it.

“When I got married I promised to be with my wife until death do us part and that’s what I’ve done.”