It all started with a dance ... and a few bruised toes!

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Nick Lil­li­tos nlil­li­tos@thek­m­group.co.uk

WHEN Arthur Leach first danced with Rose he trod on her toes, but 65 years on their mar­riage has proved very much in step.

Rose turns 85 in Au­gust, just one month af­ter Arthur reaches the same age.

The cou­ple live in Wye where they cel­e­brated their blue sap­phire an­niver­sary with a con­grat­u­la­tory card from the Queen.

They have a son, John, 62, and a daugh­ter, Kim, 51, and have nine grand­chil­dren and 17 great­grand­chil­dren.

Rose and Arthur were mar­ried on April 21, 1945, just days be­fore Adolf Hitler com­mit­ted sui­cide in his Ber­lin bunker as the war in Europe drew to a close.

Arthur was a sailor in the Royal Navy, work­ing on minesweep­ers, and Rose served with the Women’s Land Army.

They first got to know each other when both worked for the River Po­lice in London as teenagers.

Rose says she did not think much of Arthur at first, but the car­pen­ter who re­paired the river boats was con­stantly en­cour­aged her to ask Arthur to take her danc­ing.

Rose said: “We called the car­pen­ter Chippy be­cause he was al­ways chip­ping away at the boats’ wood. Af­ter a lot of pres­sure from Chippy I told Arthur I had two com­pli­men­tary tick­ets and would he like to take me danc­ing. I think we only went in the end to please Chippy.”

But since the day they mar­ried the cou­ple have never looked back.

“I love danc­ing but Arthur was al­ways a bit clumsy in that depart­ment, tread­ing on my toes in that first dance,” said Rose.

“I still do all the cook­ing. He likes his roasts and stews, but not those spicy cur­ries. As for drink­ing, I’m tee­to­tal while he’ll have the oc­ca­sional lager at a so­cial gath­er­ing. We both stopped smok­ing a few years back, just lost the de­sire for it.”

So what’s the se­cret of their long and lov­ing mar­riage?

“Trust one an­other and help each other, that’s the main thing,” ac­cord­ing to Rose.

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