Youth club encounter led to 60 years of marriage for John and Benita

John and Benita Whatley.

The couple on their wedding day in 1954.

First published in News

ROMANCE may not have blossomed when they met the first time around, but two-and-a-half years later there was clearly a spark – and John and Benita Whatley are still together 60 years later.

Benita, 84, and John, 85, from Chandler’s Ford, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with a card from the Queen and a meal with family.

When their paths first crossed as teenagers at Bishop’s Waltham youth club, John was already seeing someone.

But when he returned after two-and-a-half years in Malaya with the Royal Air Force things had changed and romance blossomed when the couple were reunited at a weekly dance at Upham Village Hall.

They danced and John invited Benita, who was teaching at Lydlynch Road Infant School in Totton, to a party to celebrate his return home.

Two years later, on August 14, 1954, they were married at Upham Parish Church.

The couple, who moved to Chandler’s Ford in 1955, had three sons – Robert, Hugh and Stuart – though sadly Stuart died at just seven months old from viral pneumonia.

After ten years in the RAF, John worked in aircraft production and electrical engineering, while Benita continued teaching, retiring as deputy head at Chandler’s Ford Infant School.

Comments (2)

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10:28am Thu 21 Aug 14

knittingnanna says...

Congratulations to them both xx Met my husband at a youth club,celebrate our 40th anniversary on 7th Sept xx
Congratulations to them both xx Met my husband at a youth club,celebrate our 40th anniversary on 7th Sept xx knittingnanna
  • Score: 1

11:11pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Kirsty666 says...

knittingnanna wrote:
Congratulations to them both xx Met my husband at a youth club,celebrate our 40th anniversary on 7th Sept xx
Met my husband 10 years ago married for 8 and still going strong and hope to celebrate our 60th in 52 years time 😊
[quote][p][bold]knittingnanna[/bold] wrote: Congratulations to them both xx Met my husband at a youth club,celebrate our 40th anniversary on 7th Sept xx[/p][/quote]Met my husband 10 years ago married for 8 and still going strong and hope to celebrate our 60th in 52 years time 😊 Kirsty666
  • Score: 0
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