Platinum Sidmouth couple celebrate in style

PIANIST David Leach was so impressed by a couple who regularly have Sunday lunch at the Sidmouth hotel he plays at, that he offered to chauffeur them there to celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary.

PIANIST David Leach was so impressed by a couple who regularly have Sunday lunch at the Sidmouth hotel he plays at, that he offered to chauffeur them there to celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary.

David, resident pianist at the Westcliff Hotel, polished up his classic 29-year-old champagne gold Ford Cortina for the occasion and collected Charles and Dorothy Ball from their Sidmouth home on Sunday, to meet a small gathering of friends at the hotel for lunch.

David, from Temple Street, inherited the car from his late father Terry.

He said: "I have been playing in Sidmouth for 10 years and Charles and Dorothy come for lunch without fail."


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The couple, who have their own special table at the Westcliff, received a card from the Queen congratulating them on their 70th wedding anniversary.

Charles, 94 and Dorothy, 97 next week, met one another while working in the engineering department at BBC's Broadcasting House and married on September 20, 1939, at Lewes, Sussex.

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After the war Charles left the BBC and went to work in local government. They retired first to Seaton, moving to Sidmouth about 25 years ago.

Both keen bowlers at the time, with Dorothy becoming Seaton's captain twice, it was Sidmouth's bowling club that drew them to the town and they still remain associate members there.

Asked what the secret of a long marriage was, Charles said: "Give and take."

Dorothy added: "We get along and treat life as fun. Although it is difficult to get about now we go out every day. We are very happy and have nice neighbours to keep an eye on us."

Of Sunday's celebrations, Dorothy said: "We were surprised to have a lift in the car. David is a very good pianist and asks us if we have special songs. He played the Anniversary Waltz as we were leaving.

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