John and Daphne celebrate 60 years of marriage

John and Daphne Watkins from Fareham celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (133621-3)
John and Daphne Watkins from Fareham celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133621-3)
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Daphne and John Watkins met on the dance floor and haven’t stopped waltzing and foxtrotting since.

The ballroom dancing fans believe a shared interest is good for any relationship and they might have a point – the couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Boxing Day.

The wedding of ''John and Daphne Watkins

The wedding of ''John and Daphne Watkins

Daphne and John met at a social event at their Portsmouth dance school and chatted over a cup of tea at a nearby cafe before heading for Sunday night dancing at the Savoy in the city.

Now in their 80s, the couple still manage to take to the ballroom twice a week.

‘It’s excellent exercise, it really keeps you active,’ says John. ‘We can’t do as much as we did, obviously, but we still really enjoy going.’

Daphne lived in Fareham and John was in the RAF and based at Thorney Island, Emsworth when they met.

Shortly after they started dating, air radar fitter John was posted to Northern Ireland and then Yorkshire, but he regularly wrote to Daphne.

‘It was lucky the first letter got to her though,’ he says. ‘I got the address wrong – I put Fairford Avenue and not Fairfield.’

Eventually he was posted to Yatesbury in Wiltshire and would visit at weekends.

The couple were married at Trinity Church in Fareham when Daphne was 23 and John was 24.

They settled in the area and, having left the RAF, John worked for the General Electric Company.

The couple have three daughters, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

They celebrated their diamond wedding at Wallington Village Hall with almost 60 friends and relatives.