Sidmouth couple celebrate 70 years of romance after falling in love at dance
PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:03 17 April 2019
A Sidmouth couple who waltzed their way into each other lives and hearts have celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary.
Barbara and Eric Lang met as teenagers more than seven decades age at a dance in Bath, where they both grew up.
Eric, then 18, knew Barbara's cousin and was invited to the dance which his future wife was attending, as her auntie and mother were helping with refreshments.
Eric, now 92, said: “I had met her cousin Mike. I said to him 'who's that girl?', and she was sat down and he said 'that's my cousin', and I asked 'what's her name?', and I went over and asked if I could have the pleasure of this dance.
“We were waltzing quite close and she said: 'That's my mother over there.'
“It was a nice time.”
During World War Two, Eric was preparing to be conscripted to the navy but instead became a 'Bevin boy' after being selected at random through a lottery, to work in the coal mines instead.
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He went to work in South Wales in the mines and then London to work in the admiralty office, and would catch the train on Saturdays to see Barbara before travelling back on Monday morning.
The couple married four years later in St Stephen's Church, on March 19 1949.
Barbara said: “People gave me some coupons so I was able to buy material to have a white dress made. I had the full works. We had the reception, rationing was still in place but there was a nice spread.”
They moved to Sidmouth 18 months ago but recall many family holidays at Jacob Ladder's beach with their four children.
The grandparents-of-nine celebrated their big day with a trip out to Rosemoor, ending with Eric serenading his wife with the Cockney song My dear old Dutch.
He said: “We've been together now for seventy years, An' it don't seem a day too much, There ain't a lady livin' in the land As I'd swop for my dear old Dutch.
“She's handsome and beautiful and she has given me four children.”
Barbara said: “He's handsome. He has a good sense of humour and we bounce off each other. There must have been something as it was four years before we married and he would come down every fortnight to see me.”