Scarborough couple celebrate platinum wedding anniversary

It was more than 70 years ago that Maurice Dove first asked Mary, who would become his wife, for a dance.

Maurice and Mary Dove. Picture by Richard Ponter
Maurice and Mary Dove. Picture by Richard Ponter

The couple, who celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary on Tuesday, met at a dance at All Saints’ Church on Falsgrave when Maurice was 16 and Mary was 14, and shared a quickstep together.

“She followed all my fancy steps impeccably,” said Maurice, “and I think that’s what made me really interested.

“I took her home and dropped her there but a fortnight later I thought ‘that lass could dance’.

“She worked in Woolworths and I went and found the counter and asked her to the pictures after work.” Mary said: “I always said yes when he asked me to do things, regardless of my plans.

“We carried on for a few years going to the pictures and things and in the end decided we were meant to be together.”

On his 20th birthday, Maurice said to Mary he thought it was time they got engaged, and the couple were married on November 12 1949, three days before his 22nd birthday, at the same church they had first met.

Despite the “atrocious” weather, the couple remember the day fondly and have gone on to share a happy marriage.

They have lived in their house on Falsgrave for 57 years and have four children, eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

After serving his apprenticeship as a painter and decorator, Maurice ran his own business for 40 years.

Sport has been a big part of their lives. Maurice was an amateur boxer, played football and tennis and they both enjoyed playing bowls together.

Ballroom dancing is also one of their great loves, spending many hours dancing at the Roscoe Rooms and achieving a prestigious third gold bar qualification. Foxtrot was their favourite to dance together.

Maurice and Mary celebrated their anniversary milestone with family at East Ayton Lodge last weekend and said it was “a really lovely evening”.

When asked their secret to such a long and happy marriage, Maurice said: “A kiss good morning, a kiss goodnight, and if you take a big bowl and put in it all those little phrases like I love you, let’s hold hands, I’m sorry, thank you, please, and give it a big stir up you get happiness and togetherness.”

70 years of marriage

Maurice and Mary join one of the world’s most famous couples in reaching this important milestone – Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip.

The Royal couple celebrated their platinum anniversary on November 20 2017.

The exact number of couples who reach 70 years of marriage is not known but it is estimated around 30 couples per year celebrate a platinum anniversary.

Any couple who have been married for 60,65,70 or any anniversary afterwards can apply for a card from the Queen. Maurice and Mary now have three.