Extra special Valentine’s day for 90-year-old couple planning their platinum wedding anniversary

VALENTINE’S Day is extra special for a Fenland woman celebrating her 90th birthday today ahead of her platinum wedding anniversary.

Elsie Richards, of Green Street, March, met her husband Eric, 90, in 1940 through his girlfriend at the time.

Mr Richards said: “I went on a blind date with a girl, and started courting her when she told her best friend, Elsie, to look after me, and we’ve never looked back.”

A year later, the couple got married in St Wendredas on February 22, 1941 and say working together is the secret of a long marriage.

Mrs Richards, who gets her hair done every week without failure said: “We’ve still got each other and we get along very well.

“I go to play bingo three times a week which means I don’t have to put up with Eric watching football on television. If I’m in, I go into the other room and watch my tv there.

The couple, who have been on several holidays, including two to Canada and one to Spain, are planning to celebrate 70 years together with their three sons Raymond, Peter and Simon. Their other son, Michael, was born in 1944, but he died in his sleep aged 16.

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Mr Richards served with the Royal Engineers for five years during World War Two and was promoted to sergeant, but left the army as a corporal as there were too many sergeants in the regiment.

He said: “It was a dangerous job but the most dangerous time was when I got back to London with all the bombs falling.”

After returning from service Mr Richards worked on the rail line before joining Perkins Engines, which he worked at for 30 years until he took early retirement in 1978

Mrs Richards was sacked from her last job as a cleaner, she said: “My boss asked me to dust everything properly. There was a mirror which needed cleaning, but I wrote in the dust ‘I will clean this tomorrow’. She didn’t like that and I was told to leave.”

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