Exeter couple have stayed in step for 60 happy years
DANCING the night away proved to be the first happy steps that led to 60 years of marriage for an Exeter couple.
Arthur and Doreen Skinner, who live in St Thomas, met at a dance in the Winter Gardens, Sidmouth, when she was 17 and he was 23.
At the time, Doreen (née Dorman) was training to be a chef at the Sidmouth's Woodlands Hotel, having also worked at Fields Café and the Malborough Café, while Arthur was working on a farm.
Doreen said: "I had finished work at the hotel and then I went on to the dance.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"Arthur asked me to dance and things just went from there."
Arthur said: "I just swept her off the floor."
After six months of courting they became engaged and were married three years later at Tipton St John parish church on February 21, 1953, with a reception in the village hall and a cake made by Doreen's mother.
After they were married, they set up their first home in a caravan in an orchard at Otterton, where Arthur was working. From the caravan, the couple moved to their first house in Otterton, where they lived for 15 years before moving to Exeter — first to Clinton Street and then in 1982 to Wardrew Road, St Thomas, where they now live.
Arthur served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Chaser. He saw action with the Russian Convoys and was in Okinawa when the atom bomb was dropped on Japan. He was also in Hong Kong when the Japanese surrendered.
After leaving the Royal Navy in 1946, Arthur worked as a quarryman with Bill Clemens in Tipton St John – earning just £3 7s 6d (£3.37p) a week – and later with civil engineers Sercombes before joining South West Water where he worked for 16 years before retiring.
Doreen worked at Carters the Cowick Street grocers for a number of years. The couple have a son, Peter and grandson, Luke.