A Kenilworth couple who have spent many years helping others through their voluntary work have celebrated 70 years of marriage.
Dr Brian and Mrs Maureen Nicol OBE celebrated their Platinum Wedding Anniversary on April 5 and reflected on their eventful 7O years of married life.
They met as members of the Labour League of Youth in Dartford and were married in1952 when Brian was a student at Oxford. After graduating he joined the National Coal Board.
While still with the NCB they bought their first house in Staffordshire and had their two children Simon and Sally. Brian then took a post at the Atomic Energy Agency. This involved another move to a different part of the country far from friends and family. A hardship that prompted Maureen to write to the Guardian about a feeling of isolation and to the forming of the Housewives Register for 'lively minded women'. This immediately flourished and eventually had branches in every part of the country and many countries abroad.
The next step for Brian was to enter academia and later to his taking a post as lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda. The family stayed there for six years with the children first at local school and then boarding back in England. Maureen worked in the university administration and Brian managed to fit in a PhD with his teaching. When Idi Amin took over, and a colleague was brutally murdered by the army, they decided to leave and fortunately Brian was offered a post as head of a new Department of Management at Lanchester Polytechnic in Coventry and they came to live in Kenilworth.
They soon became active members of the local community and were foundation members of the Kenilworth Footpath Preservation Group. Maureen worked for 10 years as a volunteer with CAB. However they both wanted one more spell working abroad and Brian accepted a four year contract helping to set up a new Polytechnic in Hong Kong.
In 1989 they came back to Kenilworth to almost 30 years of voluntary work with various organisations including Amnesty, Humanism and the U3A. In 1995 Maureen received an OBE from the Queen mainly for her work with what was by then called the National Women's Register. In 2008 Brian was made Rotary Citizen of the Year mainly for his work with the KFPG.
Five years ago the couple, both now 92, downsized to a bungalow in central Kenilworth to cope with what they describe as increasing disabilities and hope to remain there with lots of help from Simon and Sally, friends and paid carers.