Time for tea after 60 years’ wedded bliss

Elaine and Bernard Greenberg

Elaine and Bernard Greenberg Buy this photo

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

SIXTY years ago today, in the summer of 1954, Elaine Hammerstein and Bernard Greenberg got married.

The Oxford couple, who were married in London, met during their school days in the Lincolnshire town of Grimsby.

Mr Greenberg, 85, said: “We had known each other for many years. Our families were close, my brothers Francis and Mark and her sisters Adelaide and Rita knew each other.

“I don’t remember when we met, exactly.”

Mrs Greenberg, 79, added: “If you live in a town like Grimsby you just know each other. Our families were all of similar ages and they did everything social together.”

After being separated while Mr Greenberg’s served with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in Egypt and Greece, the pair became a couple in 1952 and married two years later.

They set up home in Grimsby, each working at their respective family businesses – Mrs Greenberg working at her family’s dress shop House of Fashions and Mr Greenberg taking on the management of his father’s shipping business.

Six years later their daughter Wendy, now 54, was born. That, along with the birth of their grandson Patrick in 1992, was the couple’s happiest moment of marriage, according to Mrs Greenberg.

Nine years ago the couple left Grimsby and moved to Vicarage Road in Oxford.

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  • Elaine and Bernard Greenberg at their wedding 60 years ago today

Mr Greenberg said: “As we got older and the businesses closed down Wendy (who lives in Oxford) wanted us to be closer.”

The pair quickly integrated into the community, indulging their mutual love of music, arts and theatre by joining organisations such as the Oxford Playhouse, as well as the city’s synagogue.

Passing on their pearls of wisdom, the couple said young couples should avoid spending too much time together.

Mrs Greenberg said: “We’re not together all the time, but we don’t lead totally separate lives.

“It’s about not being on top of each other 24 hours a day.

“You see men being dragged around with their wives’ shopping trolleys and you just think ‘leave him alone.’”

Mr Greenberg added: “I go out by myself and so does Elaine. You see these young couples out together and she wants to stop him going out to play snooker and he wants to stop her going out with the girls.

“If somebody is like that you can’t change them just because you got married.”

The couple will be celebrating with a small gathering of family and friends this afternoon for tea.

Mrs Greenberg said: “I can’t believe it’s been 60 years. It seems such a long time, but I don’t feel like it’s been that long at all.”

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