He was a Teddy Boy and she was a dressmaker to Princess Elizabeth. But when Bill Tarrant met Pauline Taylor at a dance at Lambeth Town Hall in 1951 it was love at first sight.
The devoted couple from Dunstable married on March 19, 1955 in Lambeth and last Thursday marked their diamond wedding anniversary.
It was a right royal occasion, with a celebration at the Old Palace Lodge and a telegram from Mrs Tarrant’s ex-employer – the Queen.
And the pair were thrilled to have the Gazette in attendance. “Oh, we’re going to be famous!” said a delighted Pauline, 82.
But the road to true love is never plain sailing.
Pauline was only 18 when they were engaged, and her father insisted they wait for three years before getting married.
With his swept-back hair and fastidious style, Bill, 87, still sports the classic Teddy Boy look that has now come back into fashion.
He said: “Back then, I wore half-inch crepe shoes and drainpipe trousers. I used to have a big lace tie, a velvet collar jacketand a velvet sleeve. And a big stetson hat!”
Bill worked for many years at the Vauxhall plant and Pauline still has fond memories of her years dressmaking for the royal family.
She said: “I used to work for Hardy Amies. The dressmaking was nothing like what you do now, it was all done by hand.
“Princess Margaret was the fun one you’d see with a cigarette. The Queen was nice, she was that little bit more.... she knew she was going to be Queen.”
Bill and Pauline have two children, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren who all came to the anniversary gathering.
And the secret to staying happily married for so long? Bill said: “Never go to sleep on an argument.”
Pauline added: “But we do still argue!”