Crawley couple still holding hands after 60 years

Lily and Lionel 'Len' Cole, who are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary in July 2015
Lily and Lionel 'Len' Cole, who are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary in July 2015

A couple who courted while miles apart and sending love notes to each other will be celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary next week.

Lily and Lionel ‘Len’ Cole, of Three Bridges, are marking their diamond wedding on July 30.

Their paths crossed while working in a shop in Greenwich and it was love at first sight.

Lily, 79, said: “It was the first morning he started his job there.

“I was late going into work and you have to go down the some stairs. Someone had left something on the steps and I slipped down four or five steps. It was a wonder I didn’t knock all the jam jars off. That was the first time he saw me.”

Len, 82, tells the grandchildren that as soon as he spotted her he said to himself he was going to marry her.

He said: “It was two weeks before I plucked up the courage to ask her out.

“We went to the pictures and saw Stellar 17 and it was a Wednesday afternoon.”

They continued to court, but when the manager found out their secret, Len was posted to a different branch.

Lily said: “We used to send little love notes with the drivers. We were lucky we had drivers that didn’t mind delivering them to us.”

Things were made more difficult when Lily moved with her parents to Crawley, but Len travelled to see her and called her from the phone box each evening - at precisely 7.45pm.

Only a few months later, Len proposed while they were stood at a bus stop and they married at St Luke’s Church in Charlton, London in July 1955.

They moved to Crawley in 1957 and have lived in the same Three Bridges house for 58 years.

They are always seen holding hands when the go out and will often watch sit and watch the television hand in hand.

Lily said: “We’ve enjoyed our life. It’s all about give and take. Trust and being honest with one another.

“You should never go to bed on a row. We’ve got lots of lovely memories with the family.”

Len added: “We are always there for each other.”

They have two children, Robert and Janet, six grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.

They plan to mark the big day with them next week.