English Pair with Local Connections Celebrates 50th Anniversary
An English couple from Yorkshire visited Andover area relatives as part of their golden anniversary trip to the US.
Jean,70, and Derek,72, Overend of Yorkshire, England boarded the Queen Mary 2 on August 15 in Southhampton for a 7 day cruise to New York City in celebration of their 50th anniversary.
Their journey eventually brought them to the Wyndham Hotel in Andover, where they stayed from Friday August 26 to Thursday, September 1.
Why Andover? Derek Overend has relatives here and in Salem, NH. Although they have visited Andover in previous years, it was the first time they stayed in an area hotel. They said they were extremely impressed with the staff and the service.
He explained that the last time they visited, 10 years ago, they stayed with family. Unfortunately, most have passed away or moved since then.
The Overends said in addition to visiting cousins, they enjoyed spending time at the Andover Bookstore. "We do what we can to make it special," said Jean.
It all started with Derek's grandmother who came to the United States in 1902 with her parents and five brothers to work at Arlington Mills in Lawrence. His grandmother married, and his mother was raised in Methuen. Although his family returned to England, relatives remained in the Merrimack Valley including Andover.
Derek brought his mother here 20 years ago to see the family. "It is nice to come back and maintain contact," said Jean.
Their anniversary was Aug. 19, and they celebrated the occasion in style by renewing their vows on the ship. The Queen Mary's commodore performed the ceremony which was followed by a cocktail party.
The couple have cruised before, but this was their first transatlantic crossing. They are well-traveled and have been to China, Dubai, and all over Europe. They chose a cruise because Derek can no longer fly long distances due to circulation problems.
The Overends described the cruise as wonderful, but very proper. "But it was nice being looked after," said Jean.
Jean is a retired account clerk, and Derek said he is retired from local government. They have three children and four grandchildren who live in England.