Wootton Basett couple celebrate 50 years

This Is Wiltshire: John and Brenda Hooper celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a lunch party John and Brenda Hooper celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a lunch party

John and Brenda Hooper celebrated their golden wedding with a lunch party for more than 40 friends and family.

Guests at the Royal Wootton Bassett couple’s event at Marsh Farm Hotel included Mr Hooper’s best man Bill Brown, with whom he served in the RAF in Malta.

Mrs Hooper, nee McCulloch, met her husband at St Peter’s Church, Portsmouth, where he was a chorister and she was in the youth group.

They were wed at St Peter’s on December 21, 1963, after a three-year courtship, and returned there for a blessing to mark the anniversary.

Mr Hooper said: “We were married on a freezing day, and Brenda was late in arriving at the church because the driver of the wedding car couldn’t find her house.

“It was bitterly cold in church, and Brenda’s grandmother shivered so much she fell off the pew. After the service, we had the quickest ever wedding photos.”

The couple went by train to London for a brief honeymoon, but Mr Hooper forgot to remove the lens cap from his new cine camera so has no record of those days.

“I was so embarrassed when I realised my filming had been in vain,” he said.

Mrs Hooper, a trained nursery nurse, worked at a nursery on church premises. Mr Hooper served with the RAF for 21 years. His service included two postings to Lyneham and they settled at Wootton Bassett in 1972.

On return to civilian life, Mr Hooper flew with BA on long-haul flights and was with the Sultan of Oman’s private flight for 11 years.

They have three children and three grandchildren and are founder members of the 3 Ms Memory Café.

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