A BOURNEMOUTH couple are set to celebrate more than seven decades of happiness together.

Michael Le Brocq, 91, will celebrate his 70th wedding anniversary with his wife, Merle Le Brocq, 90, on March 27. 

The couple married in 1954 while Michael, who also worked for the Bournemouth Echo, served in the RAF. 

Merle said: "He was going to work and in those days they used to print the Echo at 1pm. Michael came home at 11.00am for lunch and went back at 12.30pm to print and I would also come home at lunchtime so every day we passed each other.

"We then got engaged when Michael was in the RAF based at Royston and he was paid six pence each week and he couldn't get home on that money so we married early because then we got three pounds a week and it allowed him to come home at weekends."

Michael and his family reflected fondly on his time at the Echo as an important figure in making sure the paper went to print.

Michael's son and daughter, Chris Le Brocq, 62, and Rosalind Johnston, 66, said they grew up in the Albert Road building where the paper is still based. 

Rosalind said: "It was our life, I used to go to to the Echo's social club every Friday with my friend and she loved it. They used to do to bingo on Friday night and, honestly even my friends looked forward to it."

Michael retired from the Echo in 1996 and when asked for advice on a long marriage, he believed having your interests is key. 

While Michael has become renowned for his engineering feats on land and sea, Merle is known for her tennis skills, competing in the veterans Wimbledon final. 

Chris said: "I think they both have their own interests, Dad was heavily involved with boats, cars, motorbikes while Mum played tennis every day."

The couple aim to celebrate the day with family.