60 years and still going strong was the message from a couple in Horsham after they celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary last week.
Leslie, 80, and Jackie, 79, Hogsflesh started out with just three pounds between them and a second hand suit.
Now 60 years on the couple are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary and say the love is still just as strong as it was when they first met in 1954.
Their story began in an army barracks in Lingfield 60 years ago. Three months later they were married and ready to settle down in their new life.
Jackie described how it all started.
“I was sitting with some friends of mine and he and another person walked in,” she said.
“They had just come into the camp to get something and that’s how we met.
“That was April and we got married in July.”
Leslie was completing his national service whilst Jackie was part of the army and was scheduled to go out to Gibraltar for three years. That was until Leslie proposed to her three months later.
“I should have gone to Gibraltar for three years,” Jackie explained.
“I didn’t tell the army I had got married which I should have done.
“ I went and said ‘I have got married, I want to leave’.
“They said ‘you shouldn’t have got married, you should have asked for permission’.
“I did get out of the army in the end which was nice as I didn’t have to go to Gibraltar, otherwise I would have been out there for three years and we would have had to have waited.”
Jackie said she will never forget the day her husband proposed and one phone box in particular will always have a special place in her heart.
“I was in West Lulworth when he proposed.
“Every time we used to take the kids down on holiday we used to camp down in Durdle Door and we used to go past the phone box.
“Every time we go past now the kids say, ‘That’s where daddy phoned you up and asked you to marry him’.
“The phone box is still there in the camp site now.”
The couple got married in Horsham on a budget of just three pounds and now 60 years on they say they are very happy and would not have changed a thing.
However there was one point where the pair thought they wouldn’t even make it to their 34th wedding anniversary.
In 1986 Leslie suffered from a major heart attack and was rushed to hospital. Since then he has had many operations and pieces of equipment installed to keep him ticking by and both of them could not thank the National Health Service enough.
“We didn’t think we were going to make it to our 34th wedding anniversary at one time so we have been really lucky,” Jackie said.
“The nurses and the doctors were absolutely brilliant.”
“They have done everything they possibly could. I mean 28 years and he is still going”
The couple revealed their secret to why they think their relationship has lasted so long.
“It’s give and take I suppose really,” Leslie said.
“I mean if you are prepared to work hard and get on then it will work.”
Jackie agreed with her husband. She said: “ I don’t believe people who say they have never had rows because we do have rows.
“You have to take it as it comes really, take the rough with the smooth.
“Sometimes we have really good times and sometimes we have really down times but it’s because we love each other that we get through it all.
I wouldn’t change anything. It’s just like love you know it’s just the way it is.”