A Daventry couple today (Thursday) celebrate 60 years of marriage after meeting at a dance hall in Southam.
Walter ‘Wallie’ Butcher and his wife Ann were married at St Marie’s Church in Dunchurch Road on September 25, 1954.
“It was a sunny day,” Wallie said. “Everything was perfect.”
Wallie , who is 81, said he met Ann, 78, at a dance in Southam shortly after he returned from serving as a driver and mechanic in the Middle East with the Royal Armour Corps.
“We have always been very keen dancers,” Wallie said. “We took up ballroom dancing for many years, sometimes we’d come back at three in the morning.”
Ann, who is originally from Southam, and Wallie, who hails from Badby, have lived in and around Northamptonshire their entire lives. They have four children – Jane, 59, Wendy, 57, Christopher, 55 and David, who is 53. They have one granddaughter, four grandsons and five great-grandchildren.
“We both come from large families,” Wallie said. “We used to work like mad to save up to take our children on holiday. They still talk to us about them.”
The Butchers worked in a variety of jobs before setting up their Daventry Letterpress Printing Company, based in Warwick Street opposite the former Danetre Garage, from 1986 to 2002.
The old-fashioned letter press, which eschewed modern technology, was a town institution, printing raffle tickets, leaflets and flyers for charities, businesses and Daventry District Council.
“We were together 24 hours a day. It was some of the happiest days of our lives,” Wallie said.
“I managed the machine side and Ann did the office side. We coped and we had a lot of very good customers. They were very honest.”
Ann added: “We even printed our son David’s wedding invitations when he was married.”
Ann and Wallie said they have been through a lot in their time, but had always supported each other: “We have had our ups and downs, but we have always made up.”
Wallie added: “It all comes down to one simple thing– love.”