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Arch made all the right moves

PUBLISHED: 15:16 02 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 July 2010

SMOOTH mover Arch Beattie let his feet do the talking to attract his future wife Edna, and 60 years after marriage the Belton couple are still waltzing together.

SMOOTH mover Arch Beattie let his feet do the talking to attract his future wife Edna, and 60 years after marriage the Belton couple are still waltzing together.

Northumberland-born Arch, 82, swept his 81-year-old Essex girl off her feet with his impressive moves during regular visits to her home town of Epping to see his cousin Ken Blackburn.

At the time, Arch was serving in the Navy while Ken was a police officer based next door to the town's Post Office where Edna worked, and would often take her out dancing.

And when Arch decided to pop in and see his cousin in 1946 he was introduced to Edna. The painter and decorator had to beat off the competition to get the former auxiliary nurse dancing to his tune and did so by showing off his dazzling foot moves.

The romance quickly blossomed and he visited Epping regularly.

Arch recalled: “It was very different in those days. Ken had to ask her mother for permission to take her daughter out dancing. Nowadays, girls have a more independence.”

The couple married at a church adjacent to North Weald fighter station on September 25 1948 and lived initially in former RAF accommodation at North Weald airfield before moving to Bradwell and then their current home in Belton 23 years ago.

They have four children, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

The Beatties have been actively involved with the James Paget Hospital where they were members of the hospital's League of Friends organisation, which they credit with helping their marriage to flourish.

Edna said: “You do need other interests. It is no good sitting indoors and twiddling your thumbs and I think having outside interests that we can both do is important.”

Arch added: “I think nowadays people expect to have it all instantly. There is nothing to hold couples together. When we got married we were penniless and I think people don't appreciate that marriage is something you have to work at.”

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