Linda and Brian Hunter celebrate 50 years of marriage. Contributed
Linda and Brian Hunter celebrate 50 years of marriage. Contributed

The bride shivered on her big day

SNOW was falling the day Linda and Brian Hunter were married, but it wasn't quite as romantic as it sounds.

The memorable day was 50 years ago, on December 20, 1969 in Newcastle, England.

"We only have 12 wedding photos and I look like I'm crying in most of them. It was so cold," Mrs Hunter said.

It wasn't the wedding a young Linda Walker had planned. She was meant to marry Brian Hunter during a warm Easter ceremony.


Linda and Brian Hunter celebrate 50 years of marriage. Contributed
Linda and Brian Hunter celebrate 50 years of marriage. Contributed


But it was brought forward after they were given a flat but were not allowed to live in it until they married.

"It was 50 years ago," Mrs Hunter said.

The couple spent six months before the wedding making the flat a home but they didn't want to waste any more money renting an empty place.

"So we made it a Christmas wedding, but I had bought my dress already," Mrs Hunter said.

It was a lacy three-quarter-sleeved gown suitable for warmer English weather and her shoes were strappy heels.

She remembers she couldn't get warm, even though she wore her mother's long bloomers and a spencer vest under her wedding gown.

Another incident to make the day unforgettable was a small bingle between a Bentley and a wall.

Mrs Hunter was to arrive at the church in a hired bronze Bentley but was asked by the driver to walk down an embankment.

"My dad said no, we hired the car and he would drive us," she said.

"The car hit some black ice and ran into a wall."

A reception followed in a local department store's function room. Guests walked through a Christmas street market to get to the venue.

"It was just a meal. We went home afterwards, got changed and then went out to the pub with friends. It was different in those days," Mrs Hunter said.

The newlyweds didn't have a honeymoon. It was too close to Christmas to get time off work, they didn't have a car and it was too cold.

Mr and Mrs Hunter first met on Guy Fawkes Night - November 5, 1967.

She was 16, he was 18 and they met while watching a horror film.


Linda and Brian Hunter celebrate 50 years of marriage with their family. Contributed
Linda and Brian Hunter celebrate 50 years of marriage with their family. Contributed


Mrs Hunter remembers she had ordered an ice cream but the attendant was out of change.

"They said they'd bring me the change," she said.

She sat down in the cinema with a friend. Sitting in the same row were two boys.

"Brian was sitting with his friend, also named Brian, and the attendant gave him the change to pass down to me," she said.

The boys soon disappeared to the back of the cinema only to come back and sit down on either side of the girls.

After the film, they walked them home.

"It was raining. We got home and Brian asked me out on a date," she said.

By New Year's Eve, they decided it was meant to be and although Mr Hunter didn't ask her to marry him he did ask her to be engaged.

"I thought he was drunk and he wouldn't remember. I didn't mention it the next day but he did," she said.

They became officially engaged months later.

In March 1973 the Hunters, with their 21-month-old daughter, Maria, relocated to Australia.

Mrs Hunter said Newcastle had gone through a bad time of unemployment and Mackay offered a new life.

The family was sponsored by Mackay Jaycees. They were "Ten Pound Poms". One of the conditions of the sponsorship was they had to stay for two years.

"I was only 22 and thought what's two years," Mrs Hunter said.

Mr Hunter was a boilermaker by trade and worked at Marian Sugar Mill.

The family grew with the births of Scott and Kimberly.

In 1989 the family returned to the UK for five years where Mr and Mrs Hunter owned a cafe. They then came back to Mackay, where they still live.

During their time in England, their daughter Maria met Steve Archer, who she later married.

Mrs Hunter laughed at the memory of her daughter's wedding - it snowed the following day.

"It was spring and it was snowing," she said.

Mrs Hunter is adamant she doesn't miss the snow.

"It's beautiful to look at on Christmas cards, outside a window or when it first falls but then it just turns to slush - no I don't miss the snow," she said.

To mark their 50th wedding anniversary the Hunter family reunited - Mr and Mrs Hunter and their three children together for the first time in five and a half years.

Mrs Hunter said her younger daughter lives on the Sunshine Coast and came up before the wedding anniversary.

"We were able to get photos of all of us together," she said.

The couple's family includes their three children Maria Archer, Scott Hunter and Kimberly Patti, their partners Steve, Dianne and Adrian, grandchildren Khloe and Steven Dales, Teila and Gary Cahill, Daniel and Cameron Archer and Logan and Peyton Patti and two great-grandsons Tristan Dales and Dustin Cahill.