A Bexhill couple are celebrating 70 happy years as man and wife - despite being told it wouldn’t last.
Rene and Denis Norman met and fell in love during World War 11, when, unless aged 21, parents had to give permission for a couple to marry.
Aged just 19 in 1944 Rene’s dad said she was too young to marry and steadfastly refused to allow her to tie the knott with Denis, saying it wouldn’t last. Undeterred Rene and Denis applied to a Magistrate for permission and they married on February 22, 1944 at St Mary Magdalene’s church, Bexhill.
The couple have five children, Barbara, Angela, Theresa, Andrew and Mark, 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Rene, 89, said the secret to their marriage is simple: “We’re friends, we still sit and hold hands, still give each other Valentines cards.”
Theresa said her parents have been great role models. “All the children, and the grandchildren who married, have stayed with our original partners. There is a total of 304 years marriage between us. Mum and dad set an excellent example.”
To celebrate their Platinum anniversary Rene and Denis will enjoy a large party with family at the Brick Wall, Sedlescombe.
Denis, 89, said respecting each other is a vital ingredient to a successful marriage and Rene added: “We’ve been very, very lucky. All the family get on; we are all friends and have a good laugh together.”
Rene has written a special poem for Denis to go his anniversary card. She said: “We are so lucky to have each other still.
‘We’ve had a lifetime of love together.”