A POOLE couple who married a month after the D-Day landings 70 years ago say romance is the secret to a long marriage.

Rose and Norman Brown, 88 and 89 respectively, from Alderney, met at a fun fair in Poole Park aged 16 and 17.

Mrs Brown said that they waited around a year and a half before getting engaged with Norman being called up for National Service shortly after.

Rose asked the Army if her partner could be granted compassionate leave to be married and 72 hours was given to Mr Brown to travel from Sefton Park in Liverpool, get married and return back to the base.

She said: “I didn’t know when he was coming home, and you couldn’t just go out and buy what you wanted back then because we had to use coupons. All I could get was a pale blue dress and a nice pair of dark shoes.”

Norman added: “I had to borrow 18 shillings off of my best man, Bill, to pay the vicar, because I came home with about two shillings in my pocket.”

A small group of around 12 people gathered for the wedding at the church, on July 1, 1944, before a short reception at Rose’s mother’s home, to enjoy a cake made using fruit donated by friends and neighbours. They later became parents to Colin, 68, Bobby, 67, Jacqueline, 57, and Christine, 51.

Norman said: “Rosie was and is beautiful. She always gets up before me, and I whistle to let her know when I’m coming downstairs, and she whistles to let me know that she’ll meet me on the bottom stair. We always start the day with a cuddle and a kiss.”