‘I thought, she’s so pretty’ - Meeting at dance led to 70 years of happy marriage
- Credit: Norman and Lottie Rose
Loving couple Norman and Lottie Rose, of Martlesham, are celebrating their platinum wedding amid lockdown.
Mr Rose is known as “Mr Bentwaters” because of his long association with the former airbase, where the couple started their married life.
“It has been a busy and happy 70 years,” he said. “It’s all about give and take - and enjoying your family when they come along. We really enjoy being with our great-grandchildren.”
The couple, aged 92 and 91, married at Blaxhall Church on May 27, 1950, but first met as teenagers.
Mr Rose and a friend arranged dances for servicemen in the village of Tunstall. “I met Lottie at one of the dances,” he said. “I thought she was petite and very pretty.
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“I walked her home to Blaxhall, where she lived near the church, and then I had to walk all the way home, which was a couple of miles. I was 17 and she was 16. That was how it all began.”
After spending two and a half years in the RAF, Mr Rose worked at the Bentwaters and Woodbridge twin bases in a number of different roles, ending up as a senior clerk of works.
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He has published a book about the Bentwaters and Woodbridge bases, Twin Bases Remembered, and also made a DVD about Bentwaters history. He was made an honorary member of the 81 Fighter Wing Association in 2002 at Fort Walton Beach, Florida. for past service.
Mrs Rose cleaned for the wives of seven American commanders while daughter Jennie was growing up, She later became a government clerical officer.
“We rented a cottage at the base when we were first married, which was surrounded by Second World War tin huts. It cost 12 shillings and sixpence a week, which was half my wages,” Mr Rose said.
“Later I built our own bungalow, which took 14 months.”
The couple are both keen ballroom dancers and Mr Rose played swing music at village halls on Saturday nights for many years to raise funds for charity.
They have two grandchildren, Christopher and Carolyn, and four great-granddaughters, Megan, Isobel, Eleanor and Caitlin.
Mr and Mrs Rose had been planning to celebrate their anniversary at the Holiday Inn in Ransomes Europark. They had invited 80 guests, and were hoping to raise money for the charity East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.
Sadly, the celebration had to be cancelled because of lockdown, and friends and family can’t be with them for the big day. But the couple plan to enjoy a glass of wine at home.
They have rebooked for May 2021, and are already planning a party for their 71st anniversary. It’s hoped guests from America who couldn’t come this year will be able to make the trip then.