It was back in the days when the BBC’s Home Service broadcast the popular programme Workers’ Playtime live from Britain’s factories that sailor Gordon Wright first spotted Joan Simpson in Coventry.
The ex-teaboy at the Standard Motors in Fletchamstead Highway was on leave from the Navy when he warned off his old workmates with just two well chosen words…”she’s mine”.
And four years later she was. The pair were married at All Saints’ Church, Allesley, and yesterday celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Back then Gordon didn’t know that he was marrying a woman who would not only give him six sons but go on to become Lord Mayor of Coventry.
Today at their home in Hipswell Highway, Wyken, the happy couple look back on a busy lifetime throughout which they have always shared strong political beliefs.
Joan, served as a city Labour councillor for 16 years, becoming Lord Mayor from 1999 to 2000. During that time she met the Queen and was also given the devastating news that she had cancer of the pancreas.
Now aged 79, Joan said: “Fortunately it seems I was operated on in time and I am hoping to get the final all-clear next month.”
Gordon, aged 81, who went on to become works convenor and then a full-time union official for the Transport and General Workers’ Union, also served as a Labour councillor for four years.