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Many Joined Helmdon Diamond...
John and Louise Holloway John and Louise Holloway

HER MAJESTY the Queen was just one of the many well-wishers who showered a Helmdon couple with congratulations on their Diamond Wedding day last Thursday.

A telegram expressing the Royal 'warm congratulations' arrived on cue to complete the magic day for John and Louise Holloway, of Church Street, Helmdon. And for the whole day the couple, who were both born and bred in Helmdon, kept open house as relatives, friends and neighbours streamed in to congratulate them.

And they were snowed under with flowers, gifts, and more cards than they could count. During their long years in the village Louisa, 84, and John, 87, have had many links with village organisations — as gifts and cards from groups like Helmdon W.I., the Mothers Union and Helmdon Senior Citizens Fellowship, showed.


An accomplished cook after sixty years of marriage, Louisa herself made the celebration cake and mince pies enjoyed by the numerous guests.

Chief among these were their family — Louisa and John have no children, but Louisa's sisters Miss Kate Humphrey and Mrs. Amy Thompson and her family were there — and Louisa's brother Albert.

It was a rare treat for Louisa and John to see Albert and his wife, as they live in Middlesex and cannot travel frequently because Albert is disabled.

But their nephew Michael had secretly made special transport arrangements to allow Albert to get to and from the railway station, so they could make the journey by train, Michael and their other nephew Graham, and his wife and daughter also called in for the celebrations.

Helmdon has changed and grown since that day — January 3, 1925 — when John led Louisa to the altar of St. Mary Magdalene church, Helmdon, where they were married by Canon Bartlet.


Though they have spent a good deal of their lives in the village, John spent two and a half years in France serving with the Northampton Essex regiment during the first world war.

During the second world war he was in the Northamptonshire Police War Reserve, while Louisa was an auxiliary nurse at the Park Hospital, Brackley — now closed. After the war John worked for British Rail at Helmdon Station, retiring at the age of 68. Gardening is now his main hobby.

Always taking an interest in village life, Louisa has been involved with most Helmdon organisations, including the church and the Red Cross. But on this very special anniversary day John and Louisa were almost overwhelmed by the kindness of friends and neighbours who crowded in with gifts and greetings. "We would like to thank them all very much for everything," said Louisa.


Looking back over their sixty years together, the couple admit that life has yielded them its thorns as well as its roses, but they have weathered all the storms together. Louisa said her recipe for coping together is simple: "Take life's problems as they come — and make the best of it," she says.

Unknown source - circa January 3rd 1985
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