When a 16-year-old Derek Cox walked past the window of Violet’s new home in Queniborough, she knew that he was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.
As it turns out she picked well, as the couple have recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. “We lived at different ends of the village and had never met until he moved in next door. I thought ‘oh I fancy him!’ He didn’t stand a chance!” Violet said. “I knew he was in the church choir, so I waited for him one evening and we struck up a conversation and soon we were going on outings together.”
The couple were separated for two years while Derek served his National Service in Egypt, but kept in constant contact by letter during that time and married in 1950 on his return. The couple were married at St Mary’s Church, Queniborough. See picture above, reproduced with their kind permission.
Derek said: “Until I met Violet I’d not really given a second thought to girls, I seemed to be so busy with playing sports and singing in the church choir.” “She met me after choir practice one evening and I asked her if she would like to go for a walk. I kissed her as we said goodbye. After that we went on several dates and fell in love. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me!” Derek worked for Rearsby Rose Nursery and then set up his own business, Goscote Nursery, in Cossington, in 1964.
Violet, meanwhile, worked as a sales ledger clerk for the tennis court construction company EnTous Cas. They moved to Syston in the 1950s, raising four children, and the family has now extended to 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. As our readers know Green-fingered Derek is a bit of a local personality, having featured on BBC Radio Leicester’s Down to Earth programme since its conception and also appearing regularly for six years on a gardening show on Central Television. He is still a regular contributor in the Syston Town News and a valued member of Syston in Bloom. The couple remain very active and put their vitality and good health down to that fact that they have always had respect for each other. “We are very active and still love getting out and about,” said Violet. “We still go to the pictures and both love a good action movie… especially if it stars Jason Statham!”