Diamond Milestone: Ian & Marina Clark Celebrate 60th Wedding Anniversary

Ian and Marina Clark will be celebrating their Diamond Wedding anniversary tomorrow.

They got married 60 years ago at Sacred Heart Church on 11 January 1964 after meeting at dance at Henley Town Hall in the June the previous year aged just 18 and 20.

Ian who was born in Henley and lived here all his life said, “I met Marina at the dance after I got back from being away at fortnight’s camp with the Territorial Army in Cornwall.”

Marina was originally from a little village in Northern Spain near Camino de Santiago.  She moved to Henley to live with her Aunt in 1961 to find work.  She worked at Townlands Hospital for many years before giving up work to have a family.  Marina said, “Ian’s brother, David gave me away. My Aunt was my only family member at the wedding.  I bought my dress off the peg from John Lewis and Ian’s brother-in-law, Jim drove us in his Ford V8 Pilot.”

They had their wedding reception in St Mary’s Hall which was behind where the Over 60s club is now for around 60 people and Mellets Bakery provided the catering and the cake.  Ian said, “We saved hard for our wedding and honeymoon which was a week in Brighton that cost £25 which was a lot of money back then.  On the Sunday morning when we were due leave we looked out of the window and there was a foot of snow!  When we got to the Ocean Hotel, we discovered that 4 or 5 other couples were on their honeymoon there too.”

The couple first lived with Ian’s Uncle in West Hill (now West Street) before moving to a Council house in Wilson Avenue.  After trying to buying Wilson Avenue, they moved to Cromwell Road in 1983 where they lived for 48 years.  A couple of years ago they downsized and moved to a new property in Shiplake.

Ian and Marina are parents to 3 children; Romy, John and Samantha who lives in Australia and they are delighted to have 7 grandchildren.  After leaving the army, Ian worked for Waldens Building Company and Ian and Marina worked together running their own business, Henley Removals for 20 years before retiring in 2005.

What is the secret to a long marriage?  Ian said, “To have a beautiful wife to look after me through the ups and downs.  Marina added, “Trust is the biggest thing for me.”

A card from the King & Queen arrived on Saturday to congratulate them on their wedding anniversary.  Marina said, “It was such a lovely surprise, I didn’t know they did this and asked Romy how they knew.  She said they only send it to special people!”

The couple have been lucky to have celebrated their milestone anniversaries; Rome for their 25th and Australia for their 50th which have been some of their highlights but they both said, “Having our children and living a nice life have been the best things.”

The couple will be celebrating at the weekend with a family celebration meal at the The Miller of Mansfield in Goring.

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