Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Sweet News for a change - a 70 years marriage reported in my home City.

I'd planned to post this lovely story yesterday but the Boston news pre-empted it..   So here it is today to warms your hearts.

'I'll be home in 3 days, let's get married' – the wartime telegram that led to 70 years of happy marriage for Bristol couple Arthur and Audrey Brassington

WHEN Arthur Brassington sent his sweetheart a telegram from aboard the boat he served on in the North Atlantic Convoy during the Second World War he hoped it would reach her.

He had met Audrey at an army training camp in St Agnes, Cornwall, where she would serve him food and drink but they had never been on a date. He had already sent her engagement ring by post a few weeks before while he was stationed in South Africa, and his telegram simply read: "Back in three days, let's get married."Audrey rushed back from her new job at an aircraft factory in Melksham to her parents' home in Bristol.
She paid £5 for a special licence so that the pair could get married with such short notice.

The wedding took place 70 years ago on April 13, 1943, at St Mary's Church in Fishponds.

Shopkeepers from Stapleton Road, where Audrey's parents lived, each donated an item of food, which was laid out as a last-minute buffet for guests.

The pair spent just one month together in Bristol before Arthur got sent back to the army and then they didn't see each other again – for the next four years.

Arthur had been sent to New York to work on courier planes for the Navy and did not have the money or time to come back to Britain during his leave.

Coincidentally one of the men sharing his lodgings was Perry Como, who went on to be a famous American singer and television personality.

Four years later the sweethearts were reunited – but only for one week, before Arthur was again sent away – this time to Germany.

Meanwhile Audrey worked for the Mendip Engineering company where she would repair shattered guns.

When the war ended she worked as a house keeper in Wiltshire, before the lovebirds came back to Bristol to live with her parents.

Audrey became pregnant with first daughter Lindi in 1950 but the couple could not stay with her parents as her sister had tuberculosis.

They moved into a house in Ilchester Crescent, Bedminster Down, where they have lived ever since.

They had second daughter Jan in 1952 and began a happy family life together.

Arthur joined the railway police, while Audrey worked as an auxiliary nurses at Winford Hospital in North Somerset.

Jan, now 61, has fond memories of growing up. "We had an idyllic Fifties childhood," she said. "Mum would let us put on shows in the living room and make all the kids costumes and would cook chips and sell them for a penny at the door.

"Dad used to let us turn the shed into a den and played with us in the garden. They also helped me look after my own children and have been there every step of the way."

Mr and Mrs Brassington, 94 and 93 respectively, now have two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, who they enjoy spending time with.

They celebrated their Platinum wedding anniversary with neighbours, family and friends on Saturday.

Mrs Brassington told The Post: "When we got married I said to him that we should always have meals at the table, and we should never row in front of the children.

"We've never had a blazing row and our life has always been about our children."

This link may well take you to a photo of the Brassingtons.


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