May 18 2013 Latest news:
Sara Odeen-Isbister , Senior Reporter
Monday, July 16, 2012
More than half a century after a sailor asked a young lady to dance the pair have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
Eric Knight, 81, and Joan, 80, tied the knot at St Thomas Church, in Green Lane, Dagenham 60 years ago, on July 19 1952.
Around two years previously Eric was at the Winding Road Social Club in Dagenham when he asked Joan if she would like to dance.
“I was on leave from the Navy,” Eric explained. “And myself and some lads decided to go to the club. In those days all the boys sat on one side and the girls on the other. I saw Joan and thought she was nice looking and asked if she would dance with me (I was the only one of my friends who could dance.) She accepted, and it all went from there.”
Joan says it was a simple wedding because the country was still struggling after the Second World War.
“I had my dress made, but had to borrow a veil and some other things,” she said. “And we had the reception at my mum’s house. But we didn’t really care that it was basic, it was a lovely wedding and people stayed up all night partying.”
The couple have two daughters, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Reflecting on his enduring marriage Eric told the Post: “We’ve always been so close. Eighteen years ago I got cancer and she helped me through that and then the cancer came back and she was there for me again. I don’t think I could have done it without her. She’s my rock.”
Joan added: “I love the togetherness we have - we share everything. I’m very happy that we have been able to celebrate our 60th anniversary. When Eric was ill I feared that wouldn’t happen.”
The couple, of Elms Gardens, Dagenham, will celebrate with a big bash at Crowlands Heath Golf Club, in Wood Lane, Dagenham on Saturday (July 21.)