A BOURNEMOUTH couple are today celebrating their 80th wedding anniversary - and said if they knew the secret to a long and happy marriage they would 'bottle it and sell it'.

Devoted Maurice Kaye, 102, and wife Helen, 101, are one of just two known living couples to celebrate their 'oak' wedding anniversary.

They met when she was just 17 while working for her father's women's wear firm where he also worked as a travelling salesman.

Four years later they married on August 27 1934 in a London Synagogue and have been living in Dorset since the end of World War Two.

Together they owned and ran a chain of five women's wear shops in the town and now spend their days playing bridge and spending time with their two children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Helen said: "It's been a wonderful marriage - if I knew the secret to a happy marriage I would bottle it and sell it.

"We have battled our way through life - it's been hard work and not without tragedy but we've had so many good moments together too.

"We have a lovely family who come and see us often and a carer who lives with us and looks after us full time but we are both beginning to creek a bit now.

"It works because we just have the same sense of humour - we just laugh at the same things.

"Unfortunately we can't do too much now but our family are taking us out for lunch today - my son and daughter are coming round to take us out."

The couple have suffered as much as they have celebrated over their eight decades together.

Tragedy struck in their lives when two of their children - son Anthony and daughter Lesley - died when they were young so they now they revolve their lives around other son Larry and daughter Tina.

And they are still very much active in their old age - Maurice had a flying lesson for his 90th birthday present and wants nothing more than to get behind the wheel of his car - which he no longer has.

It was also a car - a dark red Morris Oxford - that helped Maurice win Helen's heart as she admitted she fell in love with him because he had one.

Helen added: "They took his last car away when he was 100 years old - we still haven't forgiven anyone for that!"

Maurice's grew up in Hoxton, east London, while Helen was born in Warsaw, Poland, and moved to England aged six.

When war was declared in 1939, Maurice joined the army but was given compassionate leave when their south London home was bombed just before D-Day in 1944.

Meanwhile, his comrades went to Normandy and his detachment disappeared - and he later discovered they had all been killed.

After the war, the couple moved to Bournemouth and have stayed at the seaside resort ever since.

Helen said: "We loved it immediately in Bournemouth and we have loved every minute of here down here after our London home was sadly bombed.

"It's much safer on the south coast."