Church couple’s faith in each other is keystone of marriage

Douglas and Janette Holvey

Douglas and Janette Holvey

First published in News

SIXTY years ago today, Janette and Douglas Holvey said ‘I do’ in the very room they first met – in a church in Lime Walk, Headington.

Mrs Holvey, nee Law, said: “ It was called Shirley Hall, but now it’s called St Ebbe’s Church.

“We met there. I went with my parents and he went once with a friend of his.

“There was a whole group of young people, and we all went along together, and gradually we just paired off.”

Oxford Mail:

The Marston couple, who have lived in Oxford all their lives, married on July 24, 1954, above.

Mrs Holvey, 81, said: “We were 16 or 17 when we started courting, and we didn’t get married until I was 21 so we were together for four or five years before we got married.”

The pair had none of the fancy trimming associated with modern nuptials.

In those austere times, there was no chance of luxury banquets and the couple had to cut back on the amount of food they could offer guests.

Speaking about the wedding day, Mrs Holvey said: “It was lovely.

“It was nothing like a wedding today, because it was after the war and things were still difficult.

“We were still having our meat and things rationed.

“We went down to Devon for our honeymoon, which was lovely, and then we were both working and then eventually we bought our house.”

The couple had two daughters, Gillian (Dean), now 55, and Jane (Walker), 54.

Mrs Holvey, a retired secretary, said: “I was at home most of the time after that when the girls were little. I started working at Saint Nicholas’ Primary School until they were old enough and I felt they were OK.”

“I went on and did clerical work at all sorts of places after that.”

Now the couple are grandparents of six and have two great-grandchildren, all of whom came together to celebrate their diamond anniversary at a surprise party on Sunday.

Mrs Holvey said: “It was absolutely lovely, we didn’t know anything about it, it was a shock.

“We thought we were going out for lunch, but it was a lovely surprise. It was so nice to have the family there. We’re a close family, we get on so well, so everybody celebrates everything together.”

Speaking about their strong marriage, Mrs Holvey said: “You need lots of love to start with.

“That’s still the same now as it was to start with, we’re still very close as a couple. We do things together. We don’t argue. It’s just really nice.”

Mr Holvey, 82, added: “Our marriage has been all that I could hope for, we are faithful and loyal, and we have done things together.

“Our faith was one of the most important things in our lives, we think that’s kept us together.”

The retired upholsterer said: “It’s important to be able to forgive and forget so that you don’t harbour disagreements. So many people go their separate ways and do different things these days. We have done most things together.”

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