Winifred and Philip Dawtry mark 70 years together

Winifred and Philip Dawtry with a card celebrating their anniversary
Winifred and Philip Dawtry with a card celebrating their anniversary
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A COUPLE who married during the Second World War have been celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary.

Winifred and Philip Dawtry of Bain Close, Stamford, were married on April 15, 1942 at St George’s Church in Stamford with just a few family members and friends present. The austerity of the war years meant no real reception either, just a small party.

“Everything was on ration,” says Philip, 94, “and our honeymoon was in Leicester, at my aunt’s house.”

“It was a beautiful day, I always remember the pink blossom being on the trees,” recalls Winifred who is 91.

The pair lived near to each other and knew one another as children but only got together because of a quirk of fate at a dance.

“I was 15 and had never been to a dance but a neighbour’s daughter asked if I could go with her,” says Winifred. “I couldn’t dance so I sat down most of the time.

“Half way through the evening this girl came up to me and asked if I could find my own way home because a boy wanted to walk with her.”

A gallant Philip stepped forward and offered to escort Winifred home and that was that, they never looked back.

“But I had to run round the neighbour’s the next morning and ask her not to tell my mother,” Winifred says.

The couple used to go to regular dances at the Assembly Rooms, now Stamford Arts Centre, the former Lansbury Hall in Blackfriars Street and at the “tin chapel” in Foundry Road.

Winifred worked in a clothes shop in St George’s Street and Philip worked as a foreman for Bowman’s builders before and after his time in the army which included service in North Africa.

After the war they were allocated a pre-fab house in Essex Road and moved to their present home in 1953. Philip retired in 1980. Both have been lifelong supporters of Stamford’s brass band.

Mr and Mrs Dawtry have two daughters, Patricia Farmer, who lives in Bourne and Carol Gilbert, who lives in Peterborough. They have four grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. The family had a meal out in Bourne on the big day and followed that with a party and cake at Pat’s house. They received lots of cards, flowers and presents plus the all-important card from The Queen, their second.

Asked for the secret of spending 70 happy years together, Philip said it was “always sharing things and having some very good friends, which is a big help through life”.

Winifred said they occasi-onally argued but had never had a real quarrel. We are just very happy together,” she said.