Daisy and Les Harris have always prided themselves on their modest lifestyle.
Throughout 70 years of marriage, they’ve taken immaculate care of their money, their home and themselves.
‘If Daisy wants something, I’ll save up for it,’ says Les, 95. ‘We’ve never had anything on hire purchase, and we’ve never had a credit card.’
Les and his wife, who is 92, celebrated their platinum wedding last week. Originally from North Harbour, Les met Clanfield-born Daisy on a blind date in 1946.
He says: ‘My brother was courting a girl and she had a friend who wanted to go out with them, so he asked me if I would make up a four.
‘From that moment on, we’ve stayed together.’
I did my courting on the backseat of the bus, but Daisy’s dad was the driver!
Following their first encounter at the funfair on Southsea Seafront, Les and Daisy regularly attended big band nights together on South Parade Pier.
Les was a coachbuilder for Sparshatts at the time, while Daisy worked as a bus conductor.
‘I did my courting on the backseat of the bus,’ laughs Les. ‘But Daisy’s father was the driver.’
Daisy giggles: ‘He kept an eye on us!’
After Daisy ‘said yes straight away’ to Les’ marriage proposal, they married in a small ceremony at St James’ Church, Clanfield on August 30, 1947.
It was an early birthday present for Les, who turned 26 years old the following day
‘We didn’t have much of a party,’ says Daisy. ‘We didn’t have a wedding cake or anything.’
After marrying, Les and Daisy briefly moved into a house in Leigh Park. Les commuted to work at a depot in Hilsea when he saw an advert for Haig Homes, a new development in Paulsgrove for disabled people.
Les was eligible for one of the new homes, having been registered disabled following his service in the RAF.
In 1950 he and Daisy relocated to Fitzgerald Court. They have not moved house since, and are very proud of their home of 67 years and counting, especially their garden.
‘It’s my passion, really,’ grins Les, looking out at his well-kept back garden. ‘When we pick out the plants, Daisy chooses them and I’ll plant them.’
Once they moved to Paulsgrove, Daisy and Les started to build their family, starting with their three children – Valerie, Carol and Brian.
‘We had a car back then,’ recalls Daisy. ‘In the summer we used to be out every day.’
The platinum couple are now also grandparents to five, and great-grandparents to a further 13.
‘They’ve a very happy-go-lucky couple,’ explains Carol. ‘They’re always in the party spirit and very jovial. If we’re at a function, they just go with the flow.’
‘We’ve never had any real problems, we always get along very well,’ Les smiles on reflection of seven wonderful decades of marriage.
His wife adds: ‘We never really made friends with any of our neighbours, but we’ve always had each other’s company.
‘I’ve always loved home life. Everything I’ve ever wanted, we’ve had to save up.’
‘I love the fact that if there’s anything I need doing, she will get on and do it,’ says Les, complimenting Daisy as ‘quite the knitter’.
‘She’ll knit me a pullover or a jumper, which is always lovely.
‘We’re very compatible, and with everything we do, we talk about it and agree before we do it.’