A Huttoft couple celebrating 50 years of marriage have recounted their early days together hob-nobbing with the stars around London.
Gerry and Rosemarie Gadd marked their golden wedding anniversary on Friday with a meal out together.
The couple, who have lived in Huttoft for 30 years, met in 1966 in Surrey where they grew up. Rosemarie was friends with Gerry’s sister Margaret and recalls the moment he asked her out:
“Gerry was home from the Army at the time and happened to be at her house when I was there,” she said. “Margaret had to talk him into asking me out because he was a being a wuss and thought I would say no,” she laughed.
Their first date was at the cinema to see the British film Alfie and they married in Kingston-on-Thames two years later, on March 9, 1968.
It was around this time Gerry became friends with British actor and ‘hellraiser’ - the late Oliver Reed - who was a customer at the off-licence Gerry ran in Wimbledon.
“He had an account there so would regularly come in to buy his booze,” said Gerry. “We would often sit out the back of the shop and muck about. Once he brought round some fencing swords as he was filming The Three Musketeers at the time so we went back there sword-fighting one day.
“Another time we had a banana-eating competition and we would often arm wrestle - but he would cheat,” Gerry laughed.
Rosemarie didn’t believe this friendship existed until Gerry arranged for them to meet Oliver Reed at a pub in Wimbledon.
“I was a bit tongue-tied and didn’t know what to say when I met him,” she laughed.
Rosemarie was a hairdresser in Walton-on-Thames near Shepperton Studios at the time and would often do the hair of those working there, including Carry On actress Hattie Jacques and the wives of celebrities such as Tom Jones and Dick Emery.
The couple moved to Huttoft in 1988. Gerry worked at the Hildreds Centre in Skegness for several years before becoming the general manager for Fantasy Island when it opened in 1995. He later worked at Conoco, Haven and the Co-op in Mablethorpe. Rosemarie worked at Mablethorpe Co-op for 20 years. Both are now retired.
Asked what the secret to their long marriage is, Rosemarie joked: “I think it is being able to put up with me,” while Gerry added: “Do what you’re told, when you’re told.”
The couple have three daughters and three granddaughters. They plan to take a trip to Wales in the summer.