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Fun-loving pair from Chippenham mark their 50th anniversary
4:00pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
When shy country lad Leslie Williams met outspoken Londoner Yvonne Reece, it was very much the case that opposites attract.
Fifty years of marriage later, he has come out of his shell and she is a tad more demure, but their love remains.
The couple, who have run and lived in The Old Vicarage care home in St Mary Street, Chippenham since 1990, say they have stayed together so long because they argue a lot.
Mrs Williams, 70, said: “We say exactly what we think and we don’t care who’s around, all the staff will tell you that. We keep everything in the open, we don’t hold it inside. It flares up and then it’s forgotten.”
She met her husband-to-be at age 18, on sports day at Sainsbury’s where they then both worked.
She said: “He was a butcher and I met him when he came to London to get his meat exams. Our first encounter was when I was playing netball and he was watching a football match. My ball went off, I went to get it and he passed it to me. He had very dark, curly hair and I thought, ‘What lovely hair’.”
Mr Williams, 71, said: “Coming from the wilds of North Wales, the only thing I’d ever seen was sheep and rain, and then there she was, absolutely full of bubbles, completely different to anything I’d known before.”
Both were with someone else at the time of their chance encounter, but soon called it off to be together.
He got more than he bargained for on their first date.
Mrs Williams said: “He was going to teach me rollerskating, but when we got there it was an ice rink and he spent half the evening on his back.”
Mr Williams proposed after six weeks but she kept him waiting for two years.
They were the subject of a practical joke on their wedding day in London.
Mrs Williams said: “We couldn’t start our car to go away because someone had taken bits out of the engine. While we were waiting they kept filling my coke up but I didn’t know it was with rum.”
Eventually they got away on honeymoon in Wales, with Mr Williams at the wheel.
The golden couple have enjoyed playing badminton and fishing together, and bought the retirement home after Mr Williams retired as an environmental officer for North Wiltshire District Council.
They are expecting 60 guests at a garden party on Saturday, including their two daughters, son and four grandchildren.
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