A COUPLE whose six children all followed their parents’ lead by becoming pilots and nurses have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
Peter and Doreen Trowsdale, from Mill Lane, Rustington, celebrated the 60th anniversary on Saturday at Rustington Manor Hotel, with a party organised by their children that was attended by 30 family members.
The couple first met in April, 1953 during a chance encounter in Folkestone, Kent, after Peter, now 81, visited a hop night with friends that was taking place at a hotel nearby.
Peter, who was living in Rugby at the time, had been playing for Dover Rugby Club when he met Doreen, now 83, who had been given the afternoon off from working as a theatre nurse at Folkestone Hospital.
“It was the eyes that first attracted me.
“We found that we both got on well with each other straight away and then we married later that year,” Peter said.
Following their marriage, they ended up having six children together – three boys and three girls.
In 1954, Peter began a seven-year stint of national service for the Royal Air Force and then worked as a long-haul commercial pilot for the rest of his career for British Airways, rising to the rank of captain.
Despite bringing up a family of six, Doreen also continued to work part-time as a nurse, most latterly at Worthing Hospital, before they both retired in 1991.
Their jobs would prove to be templates for their children.
Despite their parents encouraging them to consider different careers, all six children emulated the work of their parents, with the three sons becoming pilots and then captains and the three daughters becoming nurses.
Peter said: “We did steer them in different directions from those jobs, but they were careers they ended up choosing on their own.”
In retirement, Peter and Doreen continued their globe-trotting habits.
The couple sailed around Europe during the summer months and toured America in the winter in their motor home.
They travel less now, but still enjoy gardening and have a motorboat at Arun Yacht Club, which they use occasionally.
Asked what had contributed to their marriage’s longevity, Peter credited Doreen’s hard work in bringing up a family of six while he spent time away with work.
He added: “My wife had to work really hard.
“I was away a lot on long haul and she had a very tough job bringing up six children and working part-time.
“I think if there’s any secret to a long marriage it’s been us keeping really busy.
“And we’ve had a good retirement. Our children have been very good to us in our retirement.”