Driffield News

Bill and Rose celebrate 60 years of marriage

It wasn’t just The Queen who was celebrating a significant milestone on the Jubilee weekend – a couple from Driffield marked 60 years of happy marriage.

Bill and Rose Brigham took advantage of the extended bank holiday weekend to hold a family celebration at their youngest son’s house on Friday where, as well as enjoying fine food and drinks, reflected on six decades together.

Having first met in Rose’s home county of Oxfordshire whilst Bill was serving in the Royal Air Force, the couple were married at All Saints’ Church in Driffield around four years later.

I don’t think there is a secret really. You just have to work together, which we have done over the last 60 years

bill brigham

For Driffield born and bred Bill, it was a short journey for his large family to make.

That was not as true for Rose’s smaller family, who had to brave unseasonably snowy conditions to travel from Oxfordshire – with one relation even making the trip on his moped!

Fortunately, there was no such difficulties for Bill and Rose when they boarded the train to the south coast for their honeymoon in Jersey, with Bill’s job working on the railways enabling the newly-married couple to travel free of charge all the way down to the Channel Islands.

“We met at a dance in Long Hanborough, just outside Oxford, where Rose is from, whilst I was serving in the Royal Air Force in 1958,” Bill told the Wolds Weekly.

“I was stationed at RAF Weston-on-the-Green, which was a dropping zone for the Parachute Regiment.

“I’m Driffield born and bred though and was born on Riverhead in a house that my father rented off the sugar mill.

“We got engaged in 1960 and were married two years later at All Saints’ Church in Driffield.

“Two of Rose’s nieces were our bridesmaids and one of them was actually born on the day we met.
“Rose was from a small family and I was from a fairly large one.

“My mother was one of nine and my dad was one of four.

“All of Rose’s family came up from Oxfordshire and it was snowing like mad.

“In those days, the M1 hadn’t been built and one chap came up from Oxford on his moped to the wedding, using one and a quarter gallons of petrol!

“Our reception was at the Bay Horse in Driffield.

“It was different compared to the kind of receptions people have today, but we had a good time, with drinks and sandwiches.

Brigham Wedding Anniversary

“We had a late honeymoon on the Channel Islands, visiting Jersey.

“Our travel was all free of charge as I worked on the railway.

“We got the train from Driffield and it went all the way down to Poole and the ferry to Jersey was also owned by the railway, which gave us a free pass.”

Bill and Rose started married life living on Etherington Lane, where two sons, John and Stuart, came along.

The family then relocated to Montgomery Square, on the outskirts of Driffield, where a large garden meant Rose could enjoy one of her favourite hobbies, with Bill reluctantly helping as and when required.

Travel has also played a major part during their marriage, with Bill and Rose regularly driving to parts of the UK and Europe in their motorhome.

“We have two boys – John and Stuart,” continued Bill.

“We lived on Etherington Lane, opposite Kings Mill School, which is where Rose worked once the lads had grown up, before I started a new job at Dewhirst and stayed there until the early 2000s.

“For most of our married life, we lived on Montgomery Square, where we spent 37 years.

“We now have four grandchildren too – William, Lydia, Evie and Georgina.

“Until a few years ago, we had a motorhome and travelled around for 10 years or so, with Spain being the furthest place we went to.

“We were members of the Motor Caravanners’ Club and would go out in the motorhome most weekends.

“Rose liked gardening, especially when we lived at Montgomery Square, which had a two-acre garden. I wasn’t very keen, but it has to be done.”

Bill and Rose celebrated 60 years of marriage with a party at Stuart’s house, surrounded by their family, which was a double celebration, with John and his wife Sarah also marking their wedding anniversary.

Asked what the secret to a long and happy marriage is, Bill gave a simple answer – there isn’t one!

“I don’t think there is a secret really,” he said.

“You just have to work together, which we have done over the last 60 years.”

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