FASHION and uniform played a part in the bringing together of a Nyetimber couple celebrating their diamond wedding.
Paddy and Alan Jones met on a busy London street, where his Metropolitan Police uniform caught her eye and he had spotted her distinctive coat.
They met in New Bond Street, outside Fenwick, where Alan was posted to direct traffic, and had their first date on August 22, 1949.
Paddy, who was working for a wholesale dress manufacturer and regularly visited Fenwick, said: “I used to go the long way around so I could see him on duty.
“He was very handsome in his uniform. One day I went up and gave him a Fox’s Glacier Mint and that’s what started it.”
Alan added: “Her long blue coat and red shoes, that was what I first noticed. It was the fashion of the day.”
Paddy, 83, was born in Balham and had a happy childhood. She said her parents always rented properties with a garden so there was space to play.
“My name is Patricia but they called me Paddy because they wanted a laddy. I have had the nickname since birth,” she added.
Her brother Raymond was born eight years later but died last August at the age of 74.
Alan, 89, was an only child, born in Cove in Hampshire, where his grandfather, William Arrow, was a farmer.
“When he died, he had a road named after him,” he said proudly.
They couple courted for six years before marrying at All Saint’s Church in Kenley, Surrey, on July 16, 1955, the hottest day for years. It was so hot, in fact, that guests could not go out into the garden for the reception,
The family moved to Bognor Regis in 1980, where Alan found a job in the unemployment benefit office, a job he described as ‘soul destroying’.
Paddy managed the Sue Ryder shop in Queensway then ran Cards for Good Causes for seven years. She also opened the Cancer Research shop in Bognor Regis and later worked for Age Concern in Eastgate Square, Chichester.
They are both members of the Laburnum Centre, through which they have traced their family history back to the 16th century.
Paddy said: “It is a marvellous place. People don’t know how lucky they are to have a place like that in Bognor Regis.”
Over the years, they have enjoyed doing crafts together and have won prizes for their handiwork.
They also won a trip to Australia in a radio competition, which Paddy said was ironic as her mother had been engaged to an Australian in the First World War.
The couple have three children, Sally, Lynne and Graham, plus five grandchildren and one great grandchild.
They had a sit-down lunch for 50 family at The Inglenook on Saturday then a buffet at home in Inglewood Drive on Sunday for friends.
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