Britain’s longest surviving married couple have celebrated 80 years together after first meeting in 1937 – on a blind date.
Nancy and Eric Kingston became an item after her brother arranged a mystery rendez-vous on a village bridge.
They hit it off straight away and tied the knot on June 1, 1940 – the same day Nancy’s brothers were attempting to escape Dunkirk.
The pair celebrated their oak wedding anniversary with friends and family at their home near Wedmore, Somerset earlier this week.
They have five children, 11 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great children.
And although not all of their relatives could be there because of the coronavirus pandemic, the couple said they still enjoyed their day.
Many locals visited to pass on their wishes – and they even received a letter from the Queen.
Nancy, 99, said: “It was absolutely beautiful. It was a lovely day. We met some old friends and made some new ones.”
The pair put their long-lasting love affair down to compromise – and revealed they used to go the cinema together ever weekend.
She said: “It must have been a deep love to have lasted this long. It’s been a bit of give and take.
“We don’t do it like they do today – we hung on. It’s been a long time; a wonderful time. We’ve been very lucky.
“We’re still going strong.”
Eric, 98, added: “We made it work – we wouldn’t have stayed together for 80 years otherwise.
“She looks good for her age!
“If I could, I’d do it all again.”
The couple married during World War Two – on the same day Nancy’s brothers were attempting to escape Dunkirk, which she only found out later.
The war hit their wedding in other ways too, with her dress bought using saved rationing coupons.
Nancy and Eric were also immediately back to work following the nuptials – with no time for a honeymoon.
They have lived in the same area for most of their lives, in a peaceful part of the countryside.
They even had their first date in the local area – organised through her sibling.
Eric said: “I’ve got her brother to thank. He came out to the farm where I was working and said that someone wanted to meet me on a bridge in Westhay.
“He didn’t say whom, and I didn’t guess who it was.
“Anyway, I went along with him and met her – we talked for the rest of the evening. We went from there on.
Nancy added: “He was a nice looking lad!”
The couple now live with their youngest son Stephen, 58, who helps to look after to them on a day-to-day basis.
He said: “They are such excellent role models – for the whole family. They taught us respect to others and gratefulness.
“The kind of people they are has always been a big influence on me and the decisions I’ve made in life.”
Eric worked on a farm for several decades, doing various jobs, before taking a role with the Somerset River Board.
Nancy packed imported Australian and New Zealand butter.
A bench is being made for the pair that will be placed in their village and they have a sapling to plant, as it is their oak wedding anniversary.