A CHANCE encounter many years ago led to a marriage that has lasted 69 years.

George and Doreen Kendrick celebrated their wedding anniversary on Thursday, March 1 at Redwalls Nursing Home in Sandiway.

George, 93, has been a resident at the home for nearly a year while Doreen, 88, still lives at home in Weaverham.

Doreen recalled how she had been walking down the street with her friends on their way to church in Liverpool when they set their eyes on each other.

She was an 18-year-old living with her aunt in Liverpool and working at Boots the Chemist while George was 25 and working at English Electric in Liverpool after leaving the Navy.

As soon as he saw her wearing her Mrs Minever hat and her aunt’s borrowed fur coat he said to his friends: “I’m going to have a date with her”.

Their first date was to a wrestling a match at Liverpool stadium where they saw Jack Pye.

After that romantic outing they were together for a year while they both lived in Liverpool before getting married in the Congregational Church on March 1, 1949.

After tying the knot, they moved from Liverpool to Stafford to live in Doreen’s aunt’s house.

Over the years they have moved around the country together living in Oakengate, Shropshire, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire and Weaverham where George worked at ICI for 25 years and Doreen worked as a librarian at Weaverham library for 23 years.

In the early days of their marriage George travelled from Cambridge to Northwich by train every week to go to work and then cycled to Marbury Park Hostel where he stayed before returning to Cambridge. He did this for nine months. George was also captain at the Boys Brigade in Weaverham from 1964 to 1974.

During their time together they have enjoyed many memorable moments dancing at Lostock, Blackpool, Ellesmere Port, Trentham Gardens and Owly Wood Club, Weaverham.

Doreen said: “I think the secret to a happy, long relationship is to agree to differ, you have to allow each other their opinion.

“We did not plan a big celebration this year because I was waiting to go into hospital for a minor procedure. We are saving it for our 70th anniversary next year.”

The couple have two children, David and Susan, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.