HAILSHAM: Ted and Elsie celebrate 70 happy years

Ted and Elsie
Ted and Elsie

HUSBAND and wife Ted and Elsie Tillman swiftly fell head over heels in love after bumping into each other at their local ice rink.

The couple from Deanland Wood Park, near Hailsham, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on Saturday (December 11).

“We met at Purley ice rink. We just literally bumped into each other,” said Mr Tillman.

The couple were married at the age of 20 at Croydon Parish Church in 1940, before Mr Tillman became a Royal Artillery Gunner.

They spent three years living apart during the Second World War while Mr Tillman completed tours of duty in Malta and Italy as an RAF pilot.

Meanwhile Elsie was recruited by an ammunition factory in Thornton Heath.

The pair were reunited at the end of 1946 and Mr Tillman pursued a career in aviation, working at Croydon Airport while Elsie continued to work as a sewing machinist.

After moving to Seaford to retire in 1975, the Tillmans decided to move inland to Deanland Park following the storm of 1987.

“It was the best move we ever made,” said Mr Tillman, “The neighbours are absolutely brilliant.”

Now both aged 90, the Tillmans have received their second card from the Queen to celebrate their Platinum wedding anniversary.

They attribute the secret to their happiness to “give and take.”

“She is a brilliant person,” said Mr Tillman. “She is only four foot 11 but she has always been very active. We get on very well,” he added.