Celebrating sixty years

A COUPLE from Abbotts Ann are celebrating 60 years of marriage which began with a chance meeting and took them all over the world.

Eric and Eileen Underhill first met in Southampton when Eric was stationed at Calshot with the Air Force and Eileen moved to a pub with her parents.

On his first night out in the city he happened to choose Eileen’s new pub and after meeting they began courting before marrying on 16 December, 1953, at Above Bar Church in Southampton.

Eric’s career in the Air Force took the couple and their two sons, Carl and Martin, all over the globe including Singapore, Malaya, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Germany, South Africa and more.

They were also able to emigrate to Rhodesia which had always been their dream and their sons have gone on to give them four grandsons and two great grandchildren.

Eric played football for both Bournemouth and Birmingham, managed Andover Football Club and while in South Africa along with Eileen the pair were heavily involved in amateur productions with their children.

When asked what the secret to a long and successful marriage, Eric said: “We give and take, I have my mistakes and Eileen puts up with them and she has hers and I don’t say anything!

“We have had our ups and downs, our downs have mainly been with health but we have looked after each other.”

The couple celebrated their anniversary with a dinner and dancing at Esseborne Manor with family and friends.

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