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A night of dancing led to 60 years of happy marriage for Epsom couple, Maureen and Ed Batts
An evacuee couple who believe fate brought them together have celebrated 60 years of marriage after falling in love during a night of dancing.
Ed and Maureen Batts, 85 and 81, of The Greenway, in Epsom, marked the milestone, on Thursday, September 26, with a party at their home, at which they received a card from the Queen.
The couple have two daughters, Maureen O’Reilly, 56, and Julie Webbe, 53, and three grandchildren, and think they first caught each other’s eye while evacuees - although they never met once.
Mr Batts was evacuated to North Devon during World War Two in 1939 while she was placed in a village 12 miles away from her future husband a year later.
She said: "Ed was in a well-established family and learnt how to ride a horse and cart. He used to horseride out into the villages and I always said he spotted me then."
After the war ended they returned home to London, in her case Raynes Park, and Mr Batts to Bethnal Green.
They first met at a London dance hall and "danced all night" together. But Mr Batts, who was doing national service and was smartly dressed in the uniform of a Lifeguard, told her he could not see her again because he was being posted to Palestine.
A year later, both were at the same dance again - and have been together ever since.
Mrs Batts said: "He was very handsome. The first time we met he asked if he could walk me home. In those days it meant dropping you at your door and giving you a kiss goodnight.
"I came through the front door saying ‘I’ve just been kissed by a Lifeguard'.
"Destiny guided us together."
Mrs Batts, who worked as a secretary, said the couple are longstanding members of the Evacuees Reunion Association and that the pair’s "happy time" as evacuees created a bond between them.
She added: "He’s lovely and a thinker and I’m a talker. "You fall in love and there’s all the romance but you’ve got to be friends."
Mr Batts said that his wife is a "wonderful person and there’s not enough words I can say".
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