Platinum couple face the music and dance

FOR a Bradwell couple celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary the message is simple – it takes two to tango.

Thomas and Florence Moore first met in 1939 at a weekly community dance in Gateshead, where both of them lived.

Thomas, 89, described his reaction upon seeing his sweetheart for the first time, saying: “I saw her and said I’m going to get her and that was it – that’s the way it went on when you were young”.

Having had their first date on the day that the second world war was declared in Britain, a proposal came in what Thomas described as the “Northern way”.

He said: “There was no getting down on your knee, it was just a case of asking – what about getting married?”.

There was no fanciness either when the bride and bridegroom celebrated their big day in 1941.

“We didn’t have the food or anything” said Mr Moore, a great-grandfather.

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“It was all restricted as we were on rations, and we had to walk to the church. That said, we had our family there and we were very happy.”

And when they tied the knot at Windy Nook Church near Gateshead, a little revelation also emerged.

Their daughter June Smith said: “Mother was a year older so when they met he told a bit of a fib and said they were the same age. My mum didn’t know he wasn’t till the day they got married!”

Now 69, June was the one of two children. She was 13 when her parents, who had been living with their parents after marrying, first moved into a council house of their own in the area.

Over this time, Thomas remained an engineer with the same firm he started at as a teenager, while Florence, now 90, was in service before becoming a nurse.

And into their retirement they carried on the love of dancing that initially brought them together, with Florence also enjoying bingo. They moved in with daughter June in Bradwell in 2008.

Having celebrated their 70 years of married life on Saturday at the Foxburrow pub with family, Florence reflected on what makes for a long and happy relationship.

She said: “We’ve always knocked around together, and done things without arguing.”

The couple have six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.