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A Love Story For-The-Ages

When Jean and Bruce Halliday decided to study at the University of Reading, little did they know it would be the beginning of a lifelong journey of love and happiness. They share their #UoRLoveStory which is truly one for-the-ages.

Jean – whose maiden name was Pulsford – studied Botany, Zoology and Geology at Reading from 1950-53, while Bruce studied Maths and Physics between 1950-53, followed by a PGCE in 1954. They met towards the start of their time at Reading, through a mutual interest. Bruce said:

“We met at Reading by both joining the University Scout and Guide Club in the early 1950s.”

Jean recalled: “During our time at Reading we remember King George VI dying and Queen Elizabeth II being crowned – in fact, her coronation was the day before our final degree exams began. Now that King Charles III has been crowned, we’ve also seen another coronation together.”

Here are Bruce and Jean in 1953 and – 70 years on – in 2023:

Bruce & Jean 70 years ago

Bruce and Jean standing together on a stretch of grass in 2023








Life after graduation

The couple shared what they went on to do after they graduated from the University.

Bruce said: “After completing my PGCE, I was called up for National Service. I was commissioned in the RAF Education Branch and later extended my RAF career to a Short Service Commission lasting until I was 38.

“Meanwhile, Jean worked at Mount Vernon Hospital in Greater London, as a research assistant investigating the early work being done on radioactive iodine treatment for thyrotoxicosis [having an overactive thyroid].”

Jean shared:

“We married in 1955, which was followed by various postings in the UK and the arrival of four children. Life was busy but enjoyable.

“In 1970 Bruce left the RAF and took up a job as Warden of Lymington Community Centre and organiser of all the Further Education classes there and outreach classes in the local area.

“I became interested in teaching reading and took a further course whilst being part of Hampshire’s Special Needs Team, teaching individual children in their own schools. This included some of the early work with dyslexic children.”

Bruce and Jean are now happily enjoying retired life together.

Jean shared: “Retirement started a long time ago for us. We live at home with a garden that keeps us busy. We have been involved in many local organisations and events over the years, but now, at 91, have a slower yet still enjoyable pace of life, and are grateful we are still together to support one another.”

Bruce added:

“We are very blessed to have shared two homes in Milford-on-Sea, four children, nine grandchildren – many of whom are now married – and six great-grandchildren.”

Share your story

Did you meet your other half at Reading? We love to share #UoRLoveStories from our alumni community, so email us your story at