A couple who have been together since World War II celebrated their anniversary 75 years after they married secretly as their families disapproved.
Gordon and Pam Clare from Borrowby, North Yorkshire, defied
the odds and stayed together after they ran away to elope.
Along with the help of a supportive aunt, they fled to Cheshire, where they
tied the knot.
The pair married on 30 July, 1945, when Pam was 18 and Gordon 20, after
first meeting as teenagers at neighbouring schools when growing up in Bolton.
The couple have reached the rare milestone known as the original diamond
anniversary – as the 60th was added when Queen Victoria celebrated her
Diamond Jubilee on her 60th anniversary of accession to the throne in 1897.
Pam, 93, said: ‘We ran away because Gordon’s parents did not approve at first because we were very young.
‘We went to Kelsall in Cheshire because I had an aunt there who helped us.
‘It was not long after VE Day, so the war was almost over but there was
absolutely nothing to buy.’
Pam continued: ‘I just had to take what I could get for my wedding outfit, and it was a shade of green.
‘My aunt owned a restaurant and we were there the night before the wedding.
‘It was exciting because we had run away. The village was so beautiful, I remember all the roses were out in full bloom.’
The couple went on to have two children – David who was born in 1946 and
Pamela in 1954.
After serving in the Merchant Navy during the war, Gordon, now 95,
trained to become an engineer and worked his way up the career ladder to finally lead the commission of nuclear power stations across the UK.
After his final project was completed, the couple moved to North Yorkshire
in 1983 to be closer to daughter Pamela and her three sons.
Pam and Gordon, known affectionately as Nana and Tats, have three grandsons, ten great-grandchildren; and their first great-great-grandchild is due in August.
Pam said some of the greatest joys in their lives have come from
their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She added: ‘They are wonderful, we are very lucky to have such a lovely family.’
Despite missing out on celebrations in 2020 due to lockdown, including the
christening of their youngest grandchild Charlotte, the couple are looking
forward to being able to see family and friends again.
Congrats to the happy couple.
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