Fall in Love at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard may not be the obvious place for love to blossom but this Valentine’s Day the site will be looking at love stories of the past and hoping to ignite future romance.
In 1949 Joyce Benton was asked by a friend if she wanted a Navy penfriend. As she felt grateful to the Navy for everything they had done during the war she agreed and received a letter from Bob Reid. He then came to Portsmouth about a month later when Joyce (aged 16) and Bob (aged 20) met on Friday evening they attended a dance on the Saturday evening before meeting again on the Sunday afternoon. Bob wrote again as soon as he returned to the Royal Navy and asked Joyce to marry him. The next time they met two months later was in the church on their wedding day 31st Dec 1949, having only met on the one weekend two months before and after only one date. They remained married for 54 years.
This is just one of the stories in the archives at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and will be displayed for the first time this year with photos of them at the time, on their wedding day and on their Golden Wedding anniversary, alongside Bob’s medals for Korea, his photo album, and Service documents, which were all donated by their daughter ensuring that their memory and love for each lives on.
An unlikely Romantic was Henry VIII, but it seems that even one of history’s most notorious womanisers had a softer side – at least in the beginning… On Thursday 16th February, The Mary Rose Museum will host their Third Thursday Talk – Love Letters From A King – 12noon-12.30pm. This talk is FREE.
For the younger generation of Romeo and Juliet’s there is a FREE drop in workshop at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, on Wednesday 15th February (11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm) where they can make keepsakes for friends or loved ones inspired by sailor crafts and mementos from the museum’s collection.
And, for those already loved up, they can attend the Wedding Fair on board HMS Warrior 1860 on Monday 20 February (5pm – 9pm), admission is £2.50 – (email@example.com or 023 92 778604 for tickets and details.)
PLUS, for the first time this year HMS Warrior 1860 will be lighting up with a large love heart on her masts, that will stay until the end of the month for leap year lovers!