A ‘vinegar romance’which blossomed in a restaurant in Morecambe is still going strong sixty years later in Australia.
Patricia Robinson, née Clifford, (now 82) left Derry in 1954 when she was 18 to find work.
She came to Morecambe and got a job at the Savoy Restaurant on the prom as a waitress where she met her future husband Jack Robinson (now 79). At the time he was just 16-years-old and working as an apprentice chef.
The pair became known as the “vinegar romance” by all the staff as the head waiter always sent Pat down to the kitchens for vinegar and the chef, Jack Hart, always madeJack get it for her.
Three years later, in November 1957, the couple got married at St. Marys’ church.
The couple honeymooned in Lancaster (one night) as some family had come from Derry and Pat wanted to spend some time with them.
Over the next few years along came two daughters, Elaine in 1959 and Jackie in 1964.
After several jobs including working on the Heysham-Belfast boats, and the Cleveland Grill, Jack worked for many years at I.C.I Heysham as Catering Manager and Pat worked at Heysham golf club where Jack was a member and keen golfer.
Jack was transferred to Hillhouse at Cleveleys for three years which was but a short step for the family to move to Australia to be with Elaine, who had first emigrated in 1980 with her husband Martin Rogers, and their two granddaughters Eve and Olivia.Jackie , 52, married Craig (an Aussie) and they gave the c ouple a grandson, Robbie.
Jack said: “We are in our 29th year here and apart from losing our eldest Elaine, almost four years ago, we have had a very happy life here and feel fortunate to live close to our family.
“Many people thought we were mad to emigrate at such an age, in our 50s, but the country, the people, the weather and healthcare are second to none.
“Our diamond wedding really is something to celebrate and we will mark the occasion with a family lunch in the nearby hills. If time would allow it, we would gladly welcome another 60 years together, with very little changes.”
And the secret to a long and happy marriage? “We think honesty and consideration for each other; as the old advert said, we would give each other our last Rolo.”