Local News

‘Elvis’ makes Golden appearance in Andover

Cafe customers at Boswells in Andover were treated to a special visitor today as ‘Elvis’ sang a special song for his special lady.

Elvis fan David Wiltshire surprised his wife Merry with an a’capella version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by ‘The King’.

The surprise performance was to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary today (May 24th 2019).

Friends and family members gathered at the Chantry Centre cafe around 10.30 this morning, before Mr Wiltshire disappeared from sight to secretly get himself into his glittery Elvis costume.

As the look on his wife’s face proved as David appeared in costume, complete with a wig and dark glasses, this Golden Wedding performance was clearly totally unexpected.

Speaking of her husband’s love for ‘The King’, Merry told Andover Radio, “Well, I wouldn’t say I am a big fan of rock’n’roll. Although I do really like Love Me Tender. David often tries to dress up and sing Elvis songs in public, by which time I have gone before he starts blurting out the noise.”

Despite this being her first audience to David’s impromptu Elvis performance, Merry, a member of over-60s group ‘The Charlotteers’ said, “David is such a lovely man. It’s a rather vulgar phrase, but some older people will understand what I mean when I say David ‘has bottom’.” The phrase means someone has depth, grounding and principles.

Talking of his love for his former Dunnes Stores worker wife, David said, “She is my best friend. We get through anything today and will talk about anything and everything. If there’s ever a problem, we work through it together, we will just chat through anything.”

David had also arranged to present his wife with an exact replica of the wedding posy she received 50 years ago. The spray of red and white carnations and roses was recreated by local florist Gallagher’s on Union Street.

David and Merry Wiltshire, Golden Wedding Anniversary

Married at All Hallows church in Whitchurch, Merry (nee Barnes) recalls the day starting off with rain, “But, as we came out of the church, around lunchtime, the sun came out and it was a really lovely day.”

Their first born, daughter Georgia, arrived exactly 12-months after they got hitched and son James followed in 1973. James is a well-known music producer, who works under the name The Freemasons with Russell Small (one half of dance act Phats & Small).

The couple who have lived on London Road for 46 years met in Whitchurch in 1964. “We’ve seen a lot of change in the world”, says Merry, “Back in the sixties everything seemed much easier, a much simpler way of life. Today everything seems just too complicated. And people make things more complicated than it has to be. I worry a bit for young people today”.

The couple have a three year old grand-daughter, Sophie whose birthday was earlier this month.

Merry was a lollipop lady on Batchelors Barn Road junction with Highlands Road for nine years and has more recently been working with Andover Neighbourcare. David was a bricklayer for 25 years with Thomas Kings in Andover, later working for ‘R. Mouldings’ the builders.

Affectionately referring to her husband of half a century as ‘Popsy’, Merry gave thanks to local radio station 95.9FM Andover Radio who congratulated them on their anniversary this morning. They had special songs played including Elvis’s ‘Suspicious Minds’ and one of Merry’s favourite songs, ‘Where Do You Go To My Lovely’ by Peter Sarstedt; both were chart hits when they got married.

David received an ethusiastic round of applause from attentive customers at Boswells following his surprise performance this morning, but more importantly, received a kiss and cuddle from his bride of 50 years.

How will they be celebrating for the rest of the day? Says David with love in his heart and a naughty smile on his face, “I need to move the two tons of fuel we have arriving.”

Happy Golden Wedding Anniversary Mr and Mrs Wiltshire.

About the author

David Harber

David Harber is the founder and Managing Director of Love Andover, including the Love Andover Observer newspaper and 95.9FM Andover Radio. He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a card carrying member of the Nation Union of Journalists.