A Timeless Love Story at Belmont Castle

Dedicated to a very special couple, Victor, our resident at Belmont, and his lovely wife Christine. Victor and Christine met in 1961 when they were both 21 years old. They dated for 5 years before getting married in 1966. The happy couple first met at Viki’s Night Club at Fratton, Portsmouth. In those days, Viki’s Night Club was the place to be. On their very first date, Victor took Christine to the cinema to watch an Elvis Presley film called ‘Flaming Arrow.’ At this point, Vic didn’t even know if Christine liked Elvis; he just took a chance, so he says, but luckily for Vic, Christine did like Elvis, and so the relationship blossomed.

Later on in their relationship, Victor took Christine out for a meal at a place called the Black Cat Café, where Christine had a chicken pie, and Victor had steak for their dinner. This was their first meal out together. The Black Cat Café at the top of Fratton Bridge, Portsmouth, soon became their favourite place to go. Wherever Victor and Christine went, they would always hold hands together.

Then comes the big day, on 12th February 1966, Victor and Christine became Mr. and Mrs. Dale at Portsmouth Registry Office. The wedding reception was held at the Royal Beach Hotel, built in 1866, and soon became one of the most popular and fashionable hotels in Southsea, boasting impressive views across the Solent and is still there today, and still has the loveliest view.

Their best man, Micheal Rickson, made Christine’s dress, which Christine helped design. Christine’s favourite wedding present was a Siamese cat, which Victor and Christine’s parents all put together to buy as the cat was very expensive in those days. Siamese cats are Christine’s favourite and went on to have 11 Siamese cats over the years; every time one passed away, Victor would always go out and replace it, knowing how much Christine loved her Siamese cats.

They went on their honeymoon to Jersey, where they spent some lovely time looking around. Jersey was the most popular holiday place back in the ’60s as there weren’t many other places to go.

The happy couple, when first married, lived with Christine’s mum to help save enough money to buy their very first home together. Their very first home was called Church view, at Milton, Portsmouth. Christine can still remember moving in, and Victor decorating the house all through to just how she wanted it, to quote Christine she was spoilt.

One date in Victor and Christine’s early dating years, they went to a club called Burry and spent £5.00, but cannot recall winning; otherwise, Christine said she would be sure to remember, but they did have a lovely meal.

Both Victor and Christine were very sporty; they played Tennis, Badminton, walking, and Victor played Golf. This was when Christine said she became a Golf Widow, of 30 years. In Christine’s defence, she said she did try and learn Golf to be able to join Victor on the golf course but didn’t like it so gave it up as a bad job.

Victor worked on the Britannia, where both Victor and Christine went on lots of functions. They had such a busy social life, and absolutely both loved dressing up and going to summer balls, Today’s older version of Posh and Becks.

Christine and Victor were only ever parted before Victor came to Belmont, 18 months ago, for 2-3 weeks many years ago when Victor went to the Falkland’s North Sea ferry to paint the helicopters.

Victor and Christine have never spent either of their birthdays, Valentine’s days, Christmas, or wedding anniversaries apart from each other. Christine and Victor have shared birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s days, etc.

Christine will always come and join in events at Belmont with Victor, hence making them a very special love story.

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