A COUPLE who grew up in Exmouth but did not meet until a 21st birthday party, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at Tedburn St Mary.
Mike and Rene Hall were married on January 10, 1960 at Exmouth. Mike was projectionist at the cinema, Rene’s sister was the cashier. Rene was invited to the birthday party for another member of staff.
Born at Birmingham, Mike was evacuated to Manchester during the war but the flying bombs saw him return to Birmingham. The family moved to Exmouth in about 1950. Rene is an Exmouth girl.
Mike was among the next to last group of men to be conscripted for National Service, his two years with the Army taking him abroad for most of that time. The last intake was in 1960.
When he returned he tried several jobs but found it hard to settle after his life with the Army. In 1967 he joined the RAF Regiment until 1988, seeing service in a number of countries including Singapore.
He remembers his National Service wage before getting married was three guineas a week, which doubled on marriage but half was then taken away for accommodation.
Rene worked at a florist’s in Exton, then Lockhart’s store in Exmouth before working for the local butcher.
When Mike left the RAF Regiment they both worked at Culver House near Longdown, living in a house on the estate.
By then they had their three children. Both sons had joined the RAF but one son died suddenly six years ago. Their daughter is married and lives near Inverness, their son is chef at the Red Lion, Tedburn.
When they retired from Culver House around 16 years ago they moved to their present home at Tremletts Close at Tedburn, Mike being chairman of its Social Club until last year.
Rene joined the WI at Longdown, an interest she continued at Tedburn. Mike had been much involved with Tedburn Fair and Sports and still helps when he can.
They have a grandaughter living in Australia who has two sons and two grandsons in the UK with one great grandson.
Mike and Rene had a small family meal at the Red Lion to celebrate their diamond anniversary with the card from the Queen in pride of place.
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