IT IS normally the best man forgetting the rings or giving a drunken speech which nearly scuppers most weddings but in the Barksbys’ case it was the vicar who let the side down.
The careless clergyman forgot to read out their banns during the lead up to the couple’s wedding and, until a week before their big day, Ralph and Brenda Barksby were not sure their wedding would go ahead at all.
Luckily, they explained, he was able to get a licence and they married without a hitch at Clipstone Church of England on 23rd June, 1951.
Ex-miner Ralph (81), joking about the chaotic time, said: “She (Brenda) always says she does not belong to me, she belongs to the vicar because he got the licence.”
The Barksbys celebrated their diamond anniversary with a family meal at the South Forest Leisure Complex in Edwinstowe.
Ralph and Brenda, of Forest Road, met in Ollerton when they were both 20.
Said Brenda: “There were two gangs in the village - six girls and six boys. “
And Ralph said life was different for courting couples back then.
Said Ralph: “There was nowhere else to go in those days.”
The couple got talking and started going out, dating for seven months before tying the knot.
Brenda (81) said she had a hectic morning on the big day rushing to get the button holes. She added: “The weather was nice and we had some good photos.”
Ralph and Brenda, whose maiden name was Ford, had a party afterwards at Edwinstowe restaurant, the Maid Marian.
They went on honeymoon to Blackpool the following day for a week.
Ralph said the pair had a lovely time with great weather.
He said: “We spent a lot of time going round the amusements and in the tower dancing, which was a lovely place to be because we have always liked dancing.”
Following their marriage, the pair lived on Poplar Street, New Ollerton, with Ralph’s mum where they lived for the next two years until their eldest child Janet was born.
The grandparents of 12 moved to Maida Lane farmhouse in 1952 and lived there until 1957 when they upped sticks to the Newlands Estate, Forest Town.
They moved to their current address in 1970.
Ralph left Whinney Lane School, New Ollerton, at 14 to start work at a butchers and then went on to Kingstand Farm, Edwinstowe.
He began working at Bevercotes in 1952 then went on to Clipstone from 1954 until he was made redundant in 1986.
The Forest Town man, who is registered disabled and has just had a triple heart bypass now enjoys bowls and snooker.
Said Ralph: “I like to have a drink occasionally and we go on holiday whenever we can afford it.”
Brenda left Samuel Barlow’s School, Clipstone, at 14 and went straight to work at various jobs until marrying.
She became a house-keeper at Maida Farm, where Ralph also worked, then had a three-year spell at Metal Box.
She travelled by scooter to her next job at Sutton Metal Box from her Forest Town home, where she worked until 1972.
Brenda said she enjoys cards, bingo, reading and going on trips.
The diamond duo have five children, Janet (60), Glenice (57), Alan (53), Trevor (49) and Adrian (47).
They said the secret of a happy marriage is to agree.
Said Brenda: “We do not argue and never in front of the children.”
Ralph added: “Money is no object. If you do not have it you do not have it.”