50 years of marriage is a piece of cake for Bishop's Stortford golden couple
Bishop’s Stortford couple John and Diane Faulkner welcomed 100 well-wishers to their golden wedding anniversary celebration at Rhodes Arts Complex – a venue that means a great deal to them.
John, 77, and Diane, 72, are members of the Rhodes Support Group, a team campaigning to ensure the theatre’s future.
On Saturday night (June 1), the couple and their loved ones enjoyed good food, great music and great company in Rhodes’ newly-refurbished Maltings Bar.
A television, tucked away from the main party, catered for football fans by screening Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Tottenham in the UEFA Champions League final in Madrid.
On display was the wedding gown that Diane Bateman wore when she married John at St Andrew’s Church in Much Hadham on Saturday, May 31, 1969.
They recalled that their wedding photographer, the late Gilbert Cox, had forgotten to put film in his camera that day. So during the wedding ceremony, he made an emergency trip to Bishop’s Stortford to get some film before returning to Much Hadham in time for the end of the ceremony.
At this point in their relationship, the couple had been courting for five years. They knew each other through mutual friends and got together on the eve of Diane’s 17th birthday after a Brian Poole and the Tremeloes concert at Long’s dance hall, which is now the Florence Walk shopping arcade in North Street.
When they married they moved to Stortford and lived in Patricia Gardens, off Norfolk Way, for a decade, before moving to Thornbera Road, where they have spent the past 40 years.
The couple have two children – son Andrew, 41, and daughter Kerry, 38 – both of whom live locally, which means that Diane and John get to see them and their grandson, Carter, frequently.
For their golden anniversary, the Faulkners asked family and friends to donate to two charities close to their hearts – Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT), as Diane has been airlifted to hospital on two occasions, and the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS), a charity which supports people with axial SpA, a condition which Diane has.
They raised around £400 for each of the good causes.