On the 30 March 1968, Chelmsford couple Ian and Marjorie Warnock celebrated their wedding day with a reception at the Best Western Rose and Crown hotel in Colchester. Fast forward 50 years and the couple have returned to the venue for their golden anniversary, looking back on half a century of life together.

The pair, who have three children and seven grandchildren, have seen the world change drastically over the course of their marriage, but their love has remained unwavering.

“In 50 years we have had some amazing experiences and we have countless happy memories.”

After having the ceremony at what is now the Maldon Road Chapel in Colchester, the wedding party headed across the historic town to the traditional Rose and Crown hotel. The venue, now the Best Western Rose and Crown Hotel, is the oldest recorded hotel in Colchester, which is itself England’s oldest recorded town. Ian and Marjorie were able to toast their future among the 14th century oak beamed walls, original chimneys and small paned windows. 

50th Wedding anniversary
The couple today

On choosing the location, Marjorie said: “For some reason we let my mother decide on the wedding venue, but as we were originally just going to have the reception in a hall, it turned out to be a wise bit of delegation! The Best Western Rose and Crown was fantastic and we had a wonderful day.”

The hotel’s exterior is virtually identical to how it was half a century ago, so when the couple returned to celebrate 50 years of marriage, the memories of their first visit came flooding back. The pair were joined by 22 of their closest friends and relatives, some of whom were sharing in the nostalgia, having also attended the original ceremony. 

Best Western Rose and Crown hotel 50 years ago
hotel interior

Marjorie said: “We were incredibly excited to return to where we first celebrated our marriage. The quality of the food and service meant everything ran smoothly and to be surrounded by all our close family and some friends made the day extra special, allowing us to look back on all of our wonderful memories together.”

Andrew Denton, Director of Communications for Best Western GB, said: “Here at Best Western GB we are proud to be part of hundreds of bride and grooms’ special days every year, and, as this year we’re celebrating our own 40th anniversary of the Best Western brand in Great Britain we have been delighted to treat Mr and Mrs Warnock as part of their Golden Wedding Celebrations.”

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About Best Western GB

Best Western is a brilliantly different collection of independent hotels proudly giving a personal welcome to guests for over 70 years. With over 250 distinctive hotels in Great Britain alone, there is more to explore with Best Western.

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