A COUPLE who have spent seven decades growing a family in Leigh celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary last month.

Dorothy and Bill Marshall, who are 91 and 94 respectively, are originally from the Lake District and had their first brief encounter in 1946, before Bill had to go and serve in the RAF as part of his National Service duties.

The pair met again four years later, however, and after Bill first asked Dorothy to dance, they began courting in 1950.

It was Bill's job in the fire service that brought the couple to Leigh and he and Dorothy tied the knot as a happy couple in 1953.

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Leigh Journal: Bill and Dorothy tied the knot in Leigh in 1953Bill and Dorothy tied the knot in Leigh in 1953 (Image: Amber Marshall)

Originally moving to Milton Street, off Railway Road, Bill and Dorothy brought up two boys and two girls in Leigh, and later became the proud grandparents of five, and great-grandparents of three.

Bill worked as a Leigh and Greater Manchester firefighter until 1977 as the service would not allow him to work any longer while wearing glasses, so he retrained as a groundsman and worked at Deane Golf Club in Bolton until his retirement.

Dorothy explained that she worked in numerous jobs, including roles at Leigh Infirmary and Atherleigh Hospital.

Leigh Journal: Bill and Dorothy with their greetings from King Charles and Queen ElizabethBill and Dorothy with their greetings from King Charles and Queen Elizabeth (Image: Amber Marshall)

With a recent greeting from King Charles to congratulate them on their milestone, Dorothy reflected on the huge changes that she has witnessed throughout her life, from the quiet streets and horse-drawn carriages in her childhood to living through five monarchs and growing her large family in Leigh.

Moving from Milton Street to Atherleigh and then onto Atherton more recently, the couple has not been able to get out as much as they used to since the pandemic and Bill's dementia diagnosis, but spend their days at home and seeing family.

Speaking about the secret to 70 years of married life, Dorothy said: "Well I'd say don't argue, but we do! But we don't argue about money or the home, just daft things really.

"We still get on after all this time, and Bill still loves me. He tells me he loves me every day and he's always done that."

Leigh Journal: Bill and Dorothy are still very much in love 70 years onBill and Dorothy are still very much in love 70 years on (Image: Amber Marshall)