A STOURBRIDGE couple who had a stormy start to their relationship have celebrated 65 years of marriage.

Terry Clarke married Dorothy, nee Tasker, on a very cold day in Leeds on December 22, 1951, but their married bliss did not get off to the best of starts after having to cut their Blackpool honeymoon short after the weather got so bad and their clothes became wet through.

The couple, who now live together at their Pedmore home, first met at a dance, with Terry being the ultimate gentleman – walking Dorothy the four miles back to her home at midnight.

On his way home it poured with rain, and Terry arrived to find his mother had locked him out, vehemently informing him: “That girl can’t be any good”.

But Terry, who had watched the “beautiful, confident, young lady” many times in the ballroom, knew Dorothy was the one for him.

Their love affair has stood the test of time and the couple’s family grew to three children, their eldest daughter, Caroline and twins Catherine and Timothy, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

After moving to the Midlands in 1966, Terry took over as chief building inspector at the then Halesowen Borough Council, before retiring in 1993 from Sandwell Council.

Dorothy, who was trained as a secretary, took up various appointments in a senior management capacity and since 1983 has had many voluntary roles including chairman of the Pedmore Senior Citizen’s Club and founder of the Halesowen Over 50s Club, which she continued until 2015 when she finally “put down her gavel for the last time”.

In 2013, Dorothy was honoured by the Queen when she was awarded with an MBE for services to the elderly in Pedmore and Halesowen.

Terry said: “We put our long marriage down to being able to ‘give and take’, our love for each other, our family, and the pleasure of seeing them all doing well in life.

“We were delighted to receive a card from Her Majesty wishing us health and happiness in our long relationship, as well as our many cards from relatives and friends.

“We believe our relationship has lasted so long because it’s based on true love and being able to listen and help each other when the going gets tough.”

The pair said they now look forward to sharing more years of love and affection together for not only are they man and wife, but they are good friends too.