FRANK Batchelor managed to pick up his ‘remarkable girl’ when she literally fell head over heels for him off a bus, and celebrate their 60th anniversary today.
The 84-year-old, and his wife, Yvonne known as ‘Eve’, 81, didn’t realise they were to spend the next 60 years celebrating their wedding anniversary on Valentine’s Day until after the church was booked.
The Diamond couple, of The Belfry, Stretton, both grew up in Southend, Essex, with Eve being evacuated during the war, from the age of eight to 14-years-old.
The couple’s first meeting didn’t run smoothly, as Frank, who spent his working life as a sales rep, was travelling to a dance on a bus.
He said: “It was icy that night and the bus kept hitting the curb, and I heard this clutter coming down the stairs and this girl fell over. I had never seen her before and I picked her up. I later saw the same remarkable girl wearing a yellow top and brown skirt at the dance I went to so I asked her to dance.”
Eve, who worked as a machinist, was engaged to another man in the army, and she said: “When he came out the army I told him I had met someone else and that this one was serious.”
The couple got engaged 12 months later when Frank told Eve he had a home for them to live in, and were married in Southend, and their honeymoon was spent in London watching Eve’s favourite team – Arsenal.
The Batchelor’s have two daughters, Lynne, who lives in Hong Kong, and Julie, who spent the last 11 years in Cyprus and now lives in Scotland, while grandchildren - Denise, lives in Nepal, Grant, who has just graduated from Sandhurst, and Holly who lives in New York.
To celebrate their 60 years the couple is hosting a party tonight for family and their ‘wonderful neighbours’.
Talking about the secret to a long marriage, Frank said: “I obey her”, while his wife added: “Never go to bed on an argument. If you have a disagreement, don’t leave until it is settled.”