Cycling started pair on 60-year journey

S45833H13 ''Diamond wedding couple Patrick and Esta Rodgers
S45833H13 ''Diamond wedding couple Patrick and Esta Rodgers

A COUPLE with historical connections in Shoreham have celebrated their diamond wedding.

Patrick and Esta Rodgers say 60 years of marriage may have passed, but their love is still on track.

The secret to their long marriage has been give and take, they believe.

Esta, 80, has lived in Shoreham all her life. She comes from an old Shoreham family, the Uptons, and her relatives crewed the Shoreham lifeboat in the early years.

James Upton was known as the ‘Grand Old Man of Shoreham’ and his sons were all seamen, fishermen and oarsmen.

They all crewed Shoreham lifeboat at the turn of the century.

One of the founding members of the Shoreham Society, former Sea Ranger Esta is passionate about local history and is a voluntary custodian of the Marlipins Museum.

Her brother Alan, who died in 2007 aged 78, used to write the Bygones column for the Shoreham Herald.

Their father, Chief Petty Officer Reginald Upton, was in the fire and rescue service at Portsmouth Naval Docks during the war.

Patrick, 84, was born in Warninglid and then fostered by Charles Stanley Cannings in Blakehurst.

After his foster mother died, he moved to Shoreham as a youngster and grew up in the former children’s home in Ham Road, Shoreham, in the 1930s.

He joined the Sea Cadets and became an apprentice shipwright.

The couple, who share a love of cycling, met in 1950 at Shoreham Cycling Club.

Young love blossomed and they married at St Mary de Haura Church in Shoreham on October 31, 1953.

At their wedding, Patrick and Esta had a guard of honour holding up bicycle wheels above their heads as they left the town centre church.

Son-in-law Charlie McKelvey said: “This did not get in the way of their love of sport, as Pat would eventually become one of the top cyclists in the county on both road and track.

“They still have a passion for life and family, although Pat has only recently discovered his own relations.”

The couple, who have four children, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren, celebrated their anniversary with close friends and family.