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Basingstoke couple Valda and Gerald Ball celebrate diamond anniversary
6:00pm Saturday 1st September 2012 in Local
Buy this photo » Basingstoke couple Valda and Gerald Ball celebrate diamond anniversary
A BASINGSTOKE couple have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary, receiving a letter from The Queen.
Valda Ball, 81, said when they were young, it had taken some time for Gerald, now 82, to pluck up the courage to talk to her.
She explained: “He used to follow me around everywhere. If I went to the pictures with my friends, he’d always sit behind me.”
The pair met at a wedding reception, but at the time Valda was already spoken for and Gerald, who lived in Herriard then, was in the Army.
He said: “I used to invite her out all the time but she told me she didn’t drink.”
Gerald’s persistence paid off, however, and within six months of meeting, the couple were engaged.
Valda was 21 when the two got married at St Michael’s Church, Basingstoke.
Four years later their eldest daughter Janet, now 56, was born, followed by son David, now 54, and their youngest daughter Linda, now 47.
The couple were delighted with their letter from The Queen, congratulating them on 60 years of marriage. Linda helped her parents frame the letter and the gift now stands proudly in their Black Dam home.
Linda said of her parents: “They have a great sense of humour and they’ve always been there for all of the family.
“I think the reason that my parents have been together for so long is that they have an understanding of having fun and supporting each other.”
Valda and Gerald share a love of dancing and used to party together at the British Legion and other social clubs in Basingstoke.
Valda said that “give and take” had kept their marriage strong for 60 years, adding: “It’s no use fighting all the time because that won’t get you anywhere.”
The couple have four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.