Wallington couple Robin and Gloria Wilson celebrate 50 years of marriage
A couple are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary next week, but it could have been very different after a difficult first date.
Robin Wilson, 78, thought he had blown it when he went to pick up his wife-to-be Gloria, 70, for the first time on a Vespa scooter in 1956.
Mr Wilson said: "She had just had her hair done for six and twopence (35p), when she came down Putney High Street she looked a picture. But when she got to me she said 'where's your car?' She was not happy."
"She thought I would be driving but I only had a scooter, and in them days nobody wore helmets, so by the time we got to central London her new hair was all over the place."
Thankfully, Mr Wilson had chosen to take his first date to legendary jazz haunt Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in Frith Street.
He said: "It was great when we got there, but she looked pretty angry when she got off the Vespa."
On September 15, the couple celebrate 50 years of holy matrimony, and they have been lucky enough to see the world thanks to Mr Wilson's hobby.
Despite his 78 years, the former Post Office manager is about to compete in marathon number 426 - a record for his age.
"I still feel pretty fit, so I do not have any intention of stopping the marathon running yet. Its allowed Gloria and I to travel the world. I have raced all over the world, recently Finland, Africa, Hawaii six times, everywhere really."
Mr Wilson runs for the same Collingwood running club as Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake. Following the wedding in a Putney Church 50 years ago, the couple crossed the threshold of their first home, on West Avenue, Wallington, which they had bought £2,200.
Mr Wilson said: "The day after the wedding we were decorating the house, we didn't have a honeymoon but thankfully we have had plenty since."