Former publicians celebrate 70 years

By Ian Dipple Friday 13 December 2013 Updated: 13/12 09:29

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Buy photos » Fred, 91 and May, 89, Badger celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with a message from The Queen. Picture by Jon Mullis 50.013.009.redd.jm1 (

A PAIR of former publicans are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary.

Fred and May Badger, from Feckenham, marked the milestone last Friday (December 6) 70 years after tying the knot.

The couple fell in love after a chance meeting when May’s parents, who lived in Birmingham, went to visit a friend in Ham Green, near Redditch, who lived next door to Fred’s mother and father.

At the time Fred, now 91, worked at The Batteries in Hunt End and May, 89, was employed at Goodman’s factory in Hall Green which made aircraft components.

But their love was to be tested by the outbreak of the Second World War. Fred enlisted in the Royal Navy and served as a Dems Gunner on the merchant ships in the Atlantic Convoys.

He returned to Britain to get married on December 6, 1943 but was given just 24 hours to tie the knot with May in Bromsgrove. This was later extended to 48 hours after some pleading with senior officers as his home port was Liverpool.

After the war the couple lived in Kingsley Avenue in Redditch and Fred worked at the MEB until his retirement. They moved to Feckenham in 1951 where they took over The Eight Bells pub up until it closed seven years later.

May worked for Pickfords Haulage until her retirement. The couple have four children, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

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