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Dance invite led to marriage

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 20, 2014

  • 19/03/14 diamond wedding Diamond wedding - Leo and Ellen Terry

  • 19/03/14 diamond wedding Diamond wedding - Leo and Ellen Terry

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“If I could live my life again I wouldn’t change a thing’ one half of a diamond couple has said as they celebrate 60 years together today.

Leo Terry met his ‘Plain Jane’ Ellen as she stood at the back of the crowd in a dancehall and asked her to dance – a decision which led to 60 years of wedded bliss.

The couple now has two 
daughters and a son, and three grandchildren – one of which is currently living in Vienna.

Eighty-nine-year-old Leo said: “I have had a good life and really enjoyed it. I have no regrets.”

His 88-year-old wife added: “I didn’t think we would ever last this long.”

Both born and bred in Birmingham, Ellen worked as a packer at Cadbury’s, while Leo worked on the farms before working for his brother-in-law as a painter and decorator. They retired to Oak Close, Castle Gresley, in 1990 after seeing the then-new estate advertised in their local newspaper.

Speaking of their first meeting, Leo said: “She was a plain Jane who wore no lipstick and was always standing at the back of the hall, so didn’t get many dances. But I was watching her and she was quiet and sensible. She taught me how to dance as I was just a beginner.”

They were a hit with each other’s family as Leo said: “My father said Ellen was a lovely girl and that I better not let her go.”

Their first date was walking up Leaky Hills in the city and after four years of courting, they married at St Lawrence’s Church, in Northfields, Birmingham, followed by a honeymoon in the Cotswolds.

Sixty years on, they will celebrate their special day with a family meal.

The secret to a long marriage is ‘give and take’, Ellen says.

Leo added: “It was a struggle but we had a good life and everything was paid for. If I could live my life again I wouldn’t change a thing. We had no real arguments.”

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