Diamond couple return to where they first met

Ralph and Sylvia Gerrard.
Ralph and Sylvia Gerrard.

A couple who met near the home of one of Britain’s most romantic films are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

Ralph and Sylvia Gerrard first met at the Station Hotel in Carnforth, close to the railway station where the famous 1945 film Brief Encounter was shot.

Then when the Gerrards returned to the hotel on the 60th anniversary of their meeting, they had a photo taken with pictures of Brief Encounter’s own romantic couple Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson.

Ralph and Sylvia (nee Raby) were married on September 8 1956 at the Cathedral in Lancaster.

They moved to a cottage near the Gerrard dairy farm, which had been in the family for hundreds of years.

Ralph farmed with his father and brother on the farm on the estuary of the Lune until he was about 40 when ill health forced him and Sylvia into a completely different direction.

They went back to college, passed O levels, gained a teaching certificate each and Ralph went on to get a degree from Lancaster University – not bad for someone who left school the first time aged 15!

The Gerrards taught at St Bernadette’s and The Cathedral school and loved their time teaching.

They also did a lot of travelling, touring Europe in their little Fiat 127 and later took coach trips and cruises.

Since retiring they have enjoyed their garden and watching their seven grandchildren grow up.

The couple have three children Ralph, Marie and Christine.

The younger Ralph has just retired from teaching and lives in Grange over Sands, Marie lives in Stratford on Avon and Christine lives in Lancaster.