Diamond wedding anniversary: 60 years of romance built on a strong friendship

When George and Angie Tooes found themselves at the same school aged 13 and 15, they had no idea that rock '˜n' roll would pave the way for their everlasting partnership.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 6:00 am
The look of love: George says he loves Angie's smile

George, 80, and Angie, 78, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a surprise visit from overseas family and a surprise party, filled with friends from all different walks of their lives.

The now great-grandparents both attended Penhale Road School in Fratton, Portsmouth, and struck up a friendship after meeting on the playground.

Angie says: ‘An American teacher came to our school and decided to start up a rock ‘n’ roll class when I was 17.’

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‘I asked George to come because we were already good friends, he used to help me look after my little sister.’

‘You can’t dance with someone without having body contact and that’s when we knew we were falling in love.’

George put his drumming skills to use as the class became a group of entertainers who got paid to tour the south of England.

The couple, who married at St Mary’s Church in Fratton in 1956, did this for five years.

‘We came through a lot of war bombings and other bad times, but with George in my life it was like the light had returned,’ says Angie.

The former dance school owner proved her love for George when she married him afer he was called for National Service, aged 21.

‘I didn’t want to be in Portsmouth without George, the thought was horrible. So we married and I followed him to Germany where we lived for three years,’ says Angie.

George, who was in the middle of an apprenticeship when he got sent to Germany, was part of the medical transport unit in the RAF.

Going on to become body shop manager for Paul’s in Fareham years later, George returned the support for Angie when she was told she had multi myeloma, a type of cancer, three years ago.

‘I was devastated when I found out Angie was ill, I looked after her then and I’ll do it again now’ says George.

‘We’ve had our ups and downs but that’s what life is.’

The couple, who have three children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, say they had a wonderful time being surprised by loved ones for their anniversary, and would like to thank everyone involved.