THEY met over 60 years ago when Dorothea could speak only broken English after moving to the region from Germany.
Now Dorothea Harrison, 81 and her husband Ronald, 94, are still going strong after recently celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.
The couple, who live on Bridge Street, Pocklington, met in 1951 at the Bay Horse Inn, which still exists today, on Market Place in Market Weighton, and got married on 24 November that year at Londesborough Church.
Reflecting on their time together, Ronald said: “We’ve had some very good times and some rough times where we have had to work and scrap.”
Dorothea only came to England in 1950 aged 20 as an au pair to work at Londesborough Hall. She could not speak a word of English at the time.
When she and Ronald first met, Dorothea was still learning the langauge which presented some difficulties.
“We had a few ups and downs with the language,” Dorothea said. “When you are young it doesn’t matter so much. You soon get used to it,”
Before moving to the country, she lived in a town called Opladen near Cologne where she remembers growing up during the Second World War.
She said: “It was a hungry time. We didn’t have much to do with it other than the fact we were absolutely petrified. We lived in a cellar for quite a while. We used to listen when they bombed Cologne. We could see it. It was a terrible time for everybody in every country.”
When he met Dorothea, Ronald, who had lived in Londesborough all his life, worked on a farm in the village with his father, brother and uncle.
The couple stayed in Londesborough until ten years ago when they decided to move to Pocklington.
Since working on the farm, Ronald’s other jobs have included dairying and working as a builder.
Dorothea spent a lot of her working life raising their five children. They also have 12 grand children and three great grand children.
According to Dorothea, the secret to a long and happy marriage is “getting on with each other.”
She added: “You have to learn to live with whatever. We managed alright.
“We’ve been retired for quite a bit which is very nice. You don’t have to worry about anything.”
The pair had a family get together at Allerthorpe Golf Club last week to celebrate their marriage milestone and have received a congratulatory card from The Queen.