Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting ENFIELD NEWS to 80360, or email us
'It's amazing she's put up with me' - Basil and Joan Lawrence from Linden Way in Southgate toast 70 years of marriage
Little did a pair of teenagers know an innocent chat during a train journey in the Second World War would lead to 70 years of marriage.
A 19-year-old Basil Lawrence sparked a conversation with Joan Sharp, then 17, when they were travelling in the same carriage to London Liverpool Street in 1940.
After several dates, their relationship went full steam ahead and the couple – now aged 91 and 89 – toasted their 70th wedding anniversary yesterday.
Mr Lawrence, who lives with his wife in Linden Way in Southgate, remembers their first meeting vividly but said the couple never expected their first encounter would result in a platinum wedding anniversary.
He said: “It’s amazing she’s put up with me. We were sitting in the same carriage and there was an aircraft we watched and we had a good talk.
“She had seen me before because I was always running off the train fast.”
Their romance stopped in its tracks when Mr Lawrence was sent to Canada in 1941 for nine months with the Royal Air Force, but the pair continued exchanging letters while Mr Lawrence was away.
He said his proposal was simple and he did not get down on one knee, but when he suggested it would be a "good idea" to get married, Mrs Lawrence did not hesitate about saying yes.
The ballroom dancing fans remember their wedding in St Andrew's Church in Enfield Town on January 30, 1943 as a chilly and low-key day spent with 20 friends and family.
Food was off the menu, as rations gripped war-time Britain, and Mrs Lawrence borrowed a wedding dress while Mr Lawrence wore his RAf uniform.
Over seven decades, the pair have had four children together, ten grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
They also set up the over-50s badminton club which meets in Enfield Chase each week, and travelled many parts of the world together, including America, New Zealand, Europe and the UK.
Mrs Lawrence said the pair have made their marriage last by having no rows but having their quiet times, and also living with family around them.
Although a gift of precious platinum was not on the cards, the pair toasted their special day yesterday during a family meal in a Cockfosters restaurant.