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Brighton Hill couple celebrate diamond wedding
THEY have raised three children together, survived months without seeing each other, and triumphed over adversity – and today Rita and Roy Kempster celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.
Despite admitting to “arguing all the time”, Rita, 78, and Roy, 79, are the picture of a couple still very much in love.
And now with a small army of grandchildren and great-grandchildren to look after, the happy couple, who live in Schubert Road, Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, still enjoy every day together.
It was as a 17-year-old shop assistant that Rita met Roy, a cabinet maker, in London’s Kensal Rise in September 1952.
In January, before Roy was shipped out to Germany on National Service as a tank driver with the Army’s Royal Horse Artillery, he proposed, and while on leave in October 1953, they tied the knot at a register office in Willesden Green, north London.
The couple eventually moved to Basingstoke in November 1967 where Roy worked for seven years with forklift truck maker Lansing Bagnall.
Over the course of 16 years, the couple had three children – Mandy in 1955, Lisa seven years later, and Stuart in 1971.
Now the couple say the younger generations – seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren – keep them on their toes.
Four years ago, the couple went through their biggest challenge together when Rita was diagnosed with lung cancer. But Rita said they “came back fighting”.
After more than 60 years together, and “constantly arguing” they said they would be lost without each other.
“I really would be lost without him and Roy would be lost without me,” said Rita. Her husband, smiling, quietly added: “I don’t think so!”
Rita added: “Everybody says we bounce off each other, and we do – we keep each other going. Our kids say it drives them mad.
“Our proudest moment would be having our children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. We are so lucky to have them all around – we love them.”
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