With Valentines Day fast approaching we wanted to share a Gatwards love story – Lisa Gatward.
Recently retired from Gatwards, Lisa Gatward originally joined Cunard’s QE2 in Southampton in the early 1970s as a Hotel Officer. She met her future husband Graham on board who was working as an electrical officer.
The QE2 was on her transatlantic itinerary before commencing her
Winter Caribbean cruising schedule visiting the Caribbean islands, and South America.
Together they met many travelling celebrities, including Twiggy, Count
Basie and Morcambe & Wise to name a few.
The romance blossomed in idyllic circumstances, moonlight steel bands
on board and gazing at the stars whilst out in the Atlantic. Their engagement party took place on board, sadly during a record-breaking storm when the ship had to stop cruising for 3 days. This was closely followed by another voyage involving a hoax bomb scare when the SAS were dropped by parachute at sea to rescue the situation! The unfortunate event was later turned into a film, “Juggernaut” starring Omar Shariff.
Despite all the set-backs at sea, Lisa and Graham married in 1973. Lisa designed her own engagement ring, a pear shaped aquamarine, her favourite gemstone, surrounded by round brilliant and marquise diamonds, claw set in 18ct white gold. It fitted perfectly with the 18ct white gold “wave” wedding band. They started married life in Dorset, with Lisa working part time at Gatwards, before becoming a director full time when they moved to
Hitchin and Graham opened Gatward Fine Arts and specialised in art restoration.
Two children then followed; Benjamin, and Charlotte, who are now both grown up and married. Ben married his American wife Jessica in 2017 and Charlotte married her Australian husband in 2012. Charlotte has now replaced her mother Lisa at Gatwards as the 8th direct generation to take the business forward to an exciting future whilst Ben has pursued a career in voice-over and cricket commentary.
Today Graham and Lisa enjoy spending their time in France and they are now doting grandparents to Charlotte’s 2 boys, Charlie and Henry and Ben’s daughter, Elizabeth.