Love began with fairground glance for couple celebrating 70 years married

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Catching sight of her across a crowded fairground, Reginald Bailey knew immediately that the pretty 18-year-old was the girl for him.

“Nancy was standing there looking a bit forlorn,” said 92-year-old Reginald. “So I went up to her and asked her to go on the hobby horse ride with me. And that was it.

“She worked in Boots and I was a hairdresser. That was in 1947. I had to go to Jersey for 12 months and when I came back she was still working in Boots so I asked her if she would like to go out with me. We used to go to the Morris Hall in Shrewsbury dancing and we would just dance the night away.

“It was the end of the war and there was not much around but we decided to get engaged and we married at Oxon Church on January 27, 1949.”

The happy couple, who celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary last weekend, travelled to London on the train for their honeymoon. “It was like a bombsite, it was terrible,” said Reginald. “But while we were there I bought her a little dog and we brought it back with us on the train.”

The couple on their wedding day in 1949

Reginald and Nancy, who is now 90, moved in to a house in Greyfriars, Shrewsbury before moving to Wolverhampton where Reginald was working as a hairdresser.

The couple then moved out to the countryside where Nancy was able to enjoy her love of dogs, setting up a successful dog boarding and breeding business. “We have worked together all of our married lives,” said Reginald. “We had restaurants in Welshpool and then we moved to Cressage.”

The pair waited 13 years until their daughter Julie was born and life became even more busy. But once retired they did not slow down, spending winters in Portugal and summers in a holiday home in Scotland.


“The secret to our marriage is working hard together, not giving up,” said Reginald. “You can’t just run away, you have to see things through and that is what we have done. We have been very happy together.”

Nancy, who was born in Aston Rogers. and Reginald, who was born in Bicton, were back at the church they married in on Sunday to celebrate, sitting in the same pews where Reginald first glimpsed Nancy as she stepped through the doors on their wedding day.

They have one daughter, Julie.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.


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