FOR some people it’s love at first sight, but one Shirley couple already felt like ‘old-friends’ by the time they laid eyes on each other.
It’s 60 years since Ken and Doreen Buckley were married, at St James Church, and family will be gathering on Sunday to celebrate their Diamond Anniversary.
The couple met in a Stratford Road sweet-shop in 1947 – but had already exchanged letters, according to daughter Denise Adams.
“My dad was in the air force, but he became very ill, and was in hospital for many weeks,” she said. “My mum was working in the family’s sweet shop at the time, and heard that he was poorly, so she started to send him letters.”
Ken finally met his pen-friend when he returned from the services, and arrived home at his dad’s shop.
The family store, Buckley’s, sold toys, tobacco, and sweets. Doreen had been taken on as a shop assistant at a time when confectionary was still rationed.
Popular with local shoppers, the couple both worked at the premises, and became very well-known locally.
On their wedding day, customers turned out in droves to wish the lovebirds well and the police had to close the road because of the size of the crowd.
The happy occasion even made the pages of the Warwickshire News – the Solihull News’ predecessor.
Doreen, 78, and Ken, 83, brought up three children in the neighbourhood, but now live in Redditch.
Doreen said that the secret to a long and happy marriage is “being a team, not arguing, and definitely having a good sense of humour.”