Sweethearts on a train still together after 70 years

Bert and Dorothy Rogers, from Deeping St James, who will be celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary. Photo: MSMP071013-014ow
Bert and Dorothy Rogers, from Deeping St James, who will be celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary. Photo: MSMP071013-014ow

A couple will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with a special family party this week.

Bert and Dorothy Rogers will also be marking Dorothy’s 90th birthday on Wednesday at the party at The George Hotel in Stamford.

The couple met when they travelled from South Croydon station to London Bridge in the 1930s when he worked as a junior clerk and she was a secretary.

Their relationship continued through Bert’s wartime service with the air force – which included a spell at North Luffenham – and they were married on December 11, 1943.

Both Londoners, Dorothy had moved to Selsdon in Surrey at the age of eight while Bert’s family had relocated to the nearby village of Sanderstead.

Bert, 93 and Dorothy, live at Back Lane, Deeping St James, having previously lived in Northborough for 30 years. Their wedding day was cold with snow on the ground and was followed by a reception at a Croydon restaurant during which Bert’s dad handed him a wallet containing cash and instructions on how to get to a mystery honeymoon destination.

“We were told to get a train from East Croydon to Charing Cross and then another to Burwash in East Sussex,” said Bert.

“We arrived there at the station at night and as it was wartime there was a blackout.”

Dorothy added: “There wasn’t a soul in sight and we didn’t know what to do.

“Eventually we made out some car lights coming towards us and Bert’s Auntie Belle turned up and took us to a pub where we were to stay. It was full of servicemen.”

Bert continued: “As soon as the squaddies found out we were on honeymoon it turned into a party; they wanted to keep buying us drinks and it was difficult to get away.”

After the war, Bert worked for Combex in London, then one of the largest toy companies in Britain.

He was made commercial director of its Peterborough factory in 1959 and moved to Northborough.

They bought one of only two houses in what is now Castle Drive - the name was suggested to the local authority by Bert after it was originally an unadopted track called North Road.

He retired in 1982 at the age of 62 when Combex closed.

Bert has been a sportsman for most of his life, playing tennis and both sorts of bowls. He still plays bridge and is a member of the local Rotary and Probus clubs.

A former scout leader, he and Dorothy set up Northborough’s first scouting troop, meeting in a room at The Cuckoo Inn.

Dorothy is a former president of the Deepings’ Inner Wheel Club.

Their son Tony was born in 1945 and Keith came along in 1952. They have four granddaughters, two great-grandsons and another great grandchild is expected at the end of this month.

Bert puts the success of his life down to Dorothy. The couple helped Keith set up and run Border Nurseries in Deeping St James from 1976 until it closed in 2008.

Keith now runs a caravan storage business on the Back Lane site and lives next door to his parents.

Both are in good health and are thankful to the doctors and staff at The Deepings Practice for keeping them going.

Bert in particular still manages to crack some very good jokes!

Their recipe for a long and happy marriage is never going to bed on an argument and having patience with one another, agreeing to disagree on some matters.

“Never go to work on an argument either,” said Bert, “or you will drive your car like a maniac.”