A chance meeting at a dance has led to 60 years of marriage for a Wragby couple.
Jacqueline and Raymond Maplethorpe celebrated their Diamond Wedding on December 12, while in Devon for five days, and their happy years were blessed on Sunday December 15 in Wragby Methodist Church, where the Rev Alan Robson officiated, and coffee and celebration cake were shared afterwards.
Jacqueline, nee Layton, was born on October 16 1932 to parents Wilf and Flo Layton.
It was a farming family in Leicestershire before moving up to Lincolnshire, where Jacqueline and her sister Phyllis were educated in Mablethorpe, Alford and Cagthorpe School in Horncastle.
On leaving school, Jacqueline went to work at Morris’s Bakery (now the jewellers) and also The Vardys in Horncastle (Children’s Home) then finally at Roselands Nursery, a council run establishment for children up to the age of five, leaving when she got married.
Raymond was born on December 21 1930 in Walcott near Sleaford to Charles and Dora Maplethorpe, with the late brother Colin, late sister Doreen and brother John.
His father was employed in lorry transport and then farming by Tattershall Bridge.
Raymond was educated locally and eventually worked on his father’s farm.
The couple married at The Wesleyan Chapel on Lincoln’s Clasket Gate in 1953.
Given away by her father, Jacqueline wore a white cloche gown with a long train, and carried a bouquet of red roses.
Her bridesmaids were Doreen Maplethorpe – groom’s sister, Phyllis Layton – sister and Josie Bratby – cousin – who all wore red velvet gowns.
The groom was supported by Best Man Colin Maplethorpe, his brother.
The reception was held at the Co-op Hall in the Bailgate and the honeymoon spent at the Regents Palace Hotel in London’s Piccadilly.
Many moves were made over the years, beginning with their first home in Riseholme Road – a farm workers cottage.
Next the couple had a little shop in Wellingore, where their children Philip and Lynne were born.
They then moved to a farm in South Carlton, Leicestershire, and their most ambitious move was to London, where the couple ran a chauffeur car hire business for six years.
And they can both recall the many famous customers they had in Wimbledon, including the Indonesian Ambassador, who was attending the wedding of the Princess Royal; Harold Wilson, when he was Prime Minister; Billy Jean King; Yvonne Goolagong and other famous tennis players, as well as Michael Crawford, to name just a few.
In 1974, the family moved back to Leicestershire where they spent the last 21 years of their working life back on the farm until the couple retired in 1995, moving to Lincolnshire to be close to their daughter, who lived in Welton le Wold. Sadly Lynne passed away in 2010.
Before settling in Wragby, the couple lived at Ludford, where they were both very involved in village life, taking part in the regular bowls and whist events, as well as supporting the village hall in other ways.
Jacqueline was also a member of the WI, where she served on the committee and was known for organising the outings.
They are both good supporters of many charities too, raising a lot of funds over the years.
The couple are blessed with a large extended family – grandchildren Scott, who works with the Red Arrows, Michelle, Mark and Emma and great-grandchildren Riley, Tristan, Abby, Lucas, Leah, Zachary, Jamie, Charlotte, Max, Alfie and Oscar.
With all the gifts of flowers and cards, the card from Her Majesty The Queen takes centre stage reminding them of their 60 years of marriage.
When asked for their secret....they both hastily said that life without a cross word or disagreement would have been very boring – but they worked together giving and taking and respecting each other.