Platinum couple celebrate 70-year union

Having the bride's bouquet and wedding cake cancelled was not the dream start to married life Dorothy and Geoffrey Keyse had hoped for.

FELIXSTOWE: Having the bride's bouquet and wedding cake cancelled was not the dream start to married life Dorothy and Geoffrey Keyse had hoped for.

But 70 years later they are still together - celebrating their platinum wedding as one of the longest married couples in Suffolk.

The pair, now both 91 and living in Quilter Road, Felixstowe, were born 100 yards and ten days apart in Greenwich, London, and their first meeting was not a great success - they had a serious difference of opinion.

“She boxed my ears,” said Mr Keyse of the argument in the local library, but shortly after they became firm friends and a started a relationship which has lasted more than seven decades.

Although neighbours, they went to different schools. She studied music and eventually achieved her cap and gown from the Royal Academy, while he, aged 15, started work at the South Metropolitan Gas works.

They married at Christchurch, Greenwich, on November 21, 1939, not long after the outbreak of war.

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Mr Keyse's brother had married a week earlier and the florist thought they had made a mistake with the flowers so cancelled the bride's bouquet. The caterer made a similar mistake and so there was no cake either.

Mr Keyse joined the Royal Engineers, serving at home and in the Middle East, while Mrs Keyse worked in a munitions factory and has vivid memories of living through the Blitz in London.

They lost their first home and all its contents during a particularly heavy raid.

“I had made a jelly and left it on the window ledge of our upstairs flat. It was still sitting there after the bombing but full of metal and dust and with no way of getting it down,” she recalled.

The couple, who moved to Felixstowe in 2001, celebrated their anniversary with a small family party with their daughters, Rosemary and Pauline and son Colin, daughter-in-law Diana and sons-in-law Alper and Henry, and five grandchildren Adem, Behiye, Merryn, Edward and Bryony.