Tea dance surprise for Ken and Marjorie’s anniversary

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The Sling Swing class.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves

The dance class where you can boogie with your baby

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Ken and Marjorie Charman had a special surprise on their diamond wedding anniversary – a tea dance with more than 130 of their friends.

Their daughter, Janet, arranged the evening after the couple visited All Saints’ Church, Portsmouth, for a blessing. They were married there on July 4, 1953.

Ken says: ‘It was absolutely breathtaking. I still don’t know how she managed to arrange it all.’

Ken, 84, and Marjorie, 83, live in Warsash and first met at a dance hall on Fawcett Road, Southsea. Ken arrived with his friends and instantly saw Marjorie, who was attending with her mother.

Both born and bred in Portsmouth, Ken worked in the dockyard and then went on to serve in the Merchant Navy, while Marjorie worked as a book-keeper in Bullpits, North End.

Their daughter Janet was born in 1954 and they moved to Locks Heath in 1960. Ken recently received a Citizen of Honour award from the Mayor of Fareham for his charity work through Titchfield Boxing Club.

They have one grandson, James, and one great-grandson, Henry.

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