A COUPLE who married just days after meeting each other before they were separated by the war have marked seven decades of devotion.
Florrie and Leslie Brass were married at St Paul’s Church in Hendon on November 25 1944 as they made a rush for the altar when their Second World War call ups came.
While Leslie served as a ground controlman in the RAF, Florrie, nee Barraclough, went to work at the British Embassy in London.
It would be another four years before the pair would be reunited when Leslie was demobbed.
As he flew back into Britain on a flying boat, Florrie took the photograph of her husband along with her to Liverpool railway station so she could recognise him as she met him on his homeward journey.
Leslie, 92, was 22 and his bride, now 93, was 23, when they wed, with Leslie allowed to leave the services early so he could help rebuild Sunderland in his first job as a bricklayer.
Among his proudest work were large homes which still stand on Queen Alexandra Road and he continued in the trade until his retirement.
Florrie went on work as a cashier in the cafe at Joplings, as a cleaner in schools and at Crown House, a government office, and in the ropery in Hendon.
Now the couple, who live their own home in Millfield, have celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary.
After a surprise tea party at the weekend, they enjoyed a meal out with their family on their milestone day.
Their daughter Sandra Kinnair, 65, said: “My mum used to always say ‘Think young and you will be young, think old and you will be old’. That’s her motto. They love each other and they’re always together. Nobody expected it and they’re still very close. As my daughter said, it’ll probably be the only platinum wedding anniversary she’ll ever go to.”
The couple are in-laws to Alfie, 68, and grandparents to Andrea Haley, 37, who is married to Kevin, 40, and Gary, 41, who is married to Tracey, 42.
They are also great-grandparents to Gary’s children Kurt, 16, and Hollie, six.