Martin & Verity on their wedding day and in the present day

The Golden Years

Martin and Verity Andrews’ lives have been intertwined with the University of Reading for the past 50 years. They met as teenagers, before both studying and working at the University. Now, they share their love story and their secret to a 50-year-marriage.

Martin and Verity smiling at the cameraWhile their marriage and lives together are inextricably linked with studying and working at the University of Reading, Martin and Verity’s journey together actually began before they had stepped foot onto Whiteknights Campus.

Martin said: “We both grew up in Abingdon where there was a youth club called Abingdon Folk Club. My friend David, who lived in the same village as Verity, told me that he was bringing two girls from the village to the club that night. David’s father used to pick me up and that night when he did, David’s two friends were sat in the back.

“This was in 1967 and I knew that was it, I knew straightaway when I saw Verity that she was the one for me.”

Verity said: “We spent some time together that night at the youth club and began dating. Martin used to ride his bicycle a couple of miles to see me every Friday, and when we were a bit older we enjoyed going to the Oxford Playhouse together – we love the theatre.

“Although we met very young, when I was 14 and Martin was 16, we just knew that we were going to spend our lives together.”

Martin and Verity with their two children, Beth and JoeMartin and Verity got engaged and married during their time at the University. Verity said: “We both lived in Wantage Hall together during our time at Reading, where we enjoyed many a dance and social evening. We got married in 1973 and we’ve been very happy ever since. We now have two grown-up children, Beth and Joe, and two teenage grandsons who live close by so we’re very lucky that we get to see a lot of them.”

Martin and Verity on their wedding dayLast year, Martin and Verity celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. So, what is their secret to a long-lasting and happy marriage?

Martin said: “We’re good friends and we have no secrets from each other. In retrospect, I’m so lucky that I met Verity when we were young and we have shared a wonderful life together so far. We’ve been very stable for 50 years and will hopefully carry on for many more.”

Verity added: “I found that having some alone time is key to a successful marriage. I love kayaking, and that is my activity which I do without Martin. I believe it’s important to maintain some separate activities, as well as spending time together.”

Hear Martin and Verity’s love story from the couple themselves:

Life at Reading

Martin began his journey with Reading in 1970, coming here to study Fine Art, before falling in love with Typography in his second year and switching degrees. Verity then joined him in 1971 to study English, but left the University at the end of her first year for personal reasons, before returning to study English and Classics in 1992.

Life after graduation continued to involve the University, with Martin working as a lecturer in the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication for many years. He also worked on the redevelopment of the University’s Ure Museum. Martin was recently awarded an honorary doctorate degree in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the University and the town. Meanwhile Verity became a Library Assistant in the University Library, before becoming an Archives Assistant in the University of Reading’s Special Collections. During this role Verity became an expert in the archival materials and was thanked in many a dissertation and published book, as well as overseeing the moving of the archives from Whiteknights Campus down to the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL).

Did you find love at the University of Reading? Share your story with us, or read some more UoR Love Stories here.