A wartime evacuation brought Mike and Dee Bulley together. And the armed forces have continued to feature throughout their 60 years of marriage.
Mr and Mrs Bulley, who toast their diamond wedding anniversary today, are well known in Carterton, where the pair made their home at the end of Mike’s career in the RAF.
The couple, who have three children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, are both heavily involved in the town’s branch of the Royal British Legion and have both received Exceptional Citizens of Carterton awards from Lord Lietuenants of Oxfordshire.
Mrs Bulley, 80, was a county councillor for the town for 20 years and remains a town councillor, having served for 34 years. Her 81-year-old husband is a welfare officer with the Royal British Legion and Royal Air Forces Association.
They met at Huntingdon Grammar School in Cambridgeshire after the then Miss Trebilcock had been evacuated from London during the Second World War. Mr Bulley, who went on to work on Britannia aircraft at Brize Norton, said: “I don’t know how it happened, it just sort of happened.
“In the last couple of years at school we used to go out to the cinema together but it was a bit awkward because I had to ride to St Ives on my bike from St Neots and ride home, or vice versa.”
The pair were married on April 12, 1952, in St Ives.
Mr Bulley’s RAF career as a flight engineer took the pair around Britain, including stays in Scotland and Cornwall, and to Aden in Yemen.
They arrived at RAF Brize Norton in 1973 and bought a house in Swinbrook Road, Carterton, soon afterwards.
The couple, who also run The Songsters – a group of choral players who perform around the town – will celebrate 60 years together with a get-together for about 80 family and friends at St John’s Church on Saturday.
Asked about the secret to a successful marriage, Mr Bulley joked: “It is ‘give and take’, I just let her have her own way!”
Mrs Bulley added: “People take the huff with each other too easily nowadays.
“You all have your days when you have disputes, but it depends how seriously you take your wedding vows.
“When you get wed I think you have to think hard about that.”