Facing hard times together as couple celebrate 60 years

Diamond Wedding Anniversary - Derek & Doreen Medicott.
Diamond Wedding Anniversary - Derek & Doreen Medicott.

A couple who celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary last week have put their successful marriage down to compromise.

Derek and Doreen Medicott met at a chance encounter at a cinema in Bank Street on Sunday November 14, 1948 – the birthday of Prince Charles. Moments after they met the film was interrupted with the announce meant of the prince’s birth.

Now the pair have been married for over 60 years and have put the longevity of their marriage down to a good, old fashioned give and take. Derek, a former printer at the Advertiser, and Doreen, a former St Cross, St Mary, and St Luke’s nurse for 26 years, celebrated their diamond anniversary on Thursday, January 24.

Derek, who can still recall exactly where he was sat in the cinema when he met his wife-to-be, said: “I met Doreen when I asked her and her friend to join myself and my best friend when we spotted them at the cinema.

“I’m glad to say she accepted my invitation and we got to know each other before the film started.

“It was about half-way through when it was flashed on the screen that, ‘the Queen had been born of a son and was doing well’. After the film we walked the girls to the bus stop. Doreen and I had a kiss and a cuddle and arranged a meet the next Sunday.”

Almost 65 years later, Derek and Doreen are still together after wedding at Rugby Register Office. But it hasn’t always been plain sailing for the couple, who lost two sons, David and Desmond, to muscular dystrophy.

“Life can be so cruel but we never let it get us down,” said Derek.

The couple have two other children, Diane and Dennis, and also have five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They celebrated their big day with a trip to Tenerife, which was almost hampered by snow on the runway.

Derek, who worked in the printing industry and for British Rail for 26 years, still has his British Rail card, which allows him and Doreen to travel for free on Europe’s rail network. Since he retired in 1994 the pair have visited 19 countries.

Derek added: “We’ve had a full life and we have always enjoyed our holidays, both in the UK and abroad.

“When the children were young we used to go on caravan holidays, but now Doreen and I have been able to travel all over the place. We don’t have a favourite destination in Europe, we love all of the countries we’ve been to. We usually travel by train, you get to see a lot more that way.

“Our latest trip to Tenerife was by aeroplane but there were big delays because of the snow. The atmosphere was quite jovial and there was some relief when we finally took off.”