Bus journey leads to 65 years of happy marriage for Wiltshire couple

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Peter and Betty Brown at their home in Bromham Peter and Betty Brown at their home in Bromham

Sharing the same bus journey has led to Bromham couple Peter and Betty Brown celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.

The couple met in 1942 when they travelled from Melksham, where they both lived, to work in Trowbridge.

It took about 18 months before they started courting and they married on December 9 1948 at St Anthony’s RC Church, Melksham.

Mrs Brown (nee Hillier), 86, was a hairdresser in Trowbridge for a few years before she left to bring up their children, Hilary and Nicholas.

Mr Brown, 87, worked in the treasurer’s office at Wiltshire County Council but joined the Army in 1944 and served with the Wiltshire Regiment for three and a half years.

He served in Germany and one of his duties he had was taking a Nazi war criminal from Brunswick jail for trial at Nuremberg.

After leaving the Army, Mr Brown returned to his former job at County Hall after which he joined Melksham Urban Council where he was deputy clerk and the last clerk before local government re-organisation.

He then became director of administration at West Wiltshire District Council and was town clerk of Calne from 1984 to 1990 until he reached retirement age.

He still retained his links with the Army, joining the TA and commanded the company in Chippenham and latterly Devizes until 1967 and followed that by being involved with welfare work for many years.

He is also an honorary member of Melksham Rotary Club and president of Melksham and District Historical Society.

After they married they lived with Mrs Brown’s mother in Melksham and had two rooms. They then had a rented house in Forest Road, Melksham, before moving to the house in Sandridge Lane where they have lived for 50 years.

The couple’s wedding day is remembered particularly for the wet weather which stopped people taking photographs.

Laughing, Mrs Brown said: “The rain came down in stair rods. We couldn’t stand in the rain, we had to run from the church to the car.”

Asked about the secret of a long and happy marriage Mr Brown said: “Dealing with ups and downs; the ups are marvellous, the downs you have to work at putting right.”

The couple also have grandchildren Tristan and Toby and great grandson Marley.

They are due to celebrate their anniversary with family and friends at Bowood Hotel on Sunday


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