A couple from Langney are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary after finding love through the Eastbourne Herald.
Anne and Alan Wills were put in touch with each other in 1958 when they were teenagers. Anne grew up in Eastbourne and saw an advert in the paper encouraging girls to become pen pals with sailors on HMS Eastbourne.
Anne said, “I wrote in and sent them a picture of myself. I didn’t know what would happen but Alan said they came in to the mess and threw a letter to each sailor. He ended up with mine.”
When the boat docked, Anne and Alan enjoyed a date at the cinema and married a year later on October 3, 1959.
The couple set up home in Northampton before emigrating to South Africa. They returned to the UK in 1976 when they bought a house in St Phillip’s Avenue, Eastbourne.
Alan worked for Seeboard and Anne was an office worker for the Environment Agency’s Pevensey Bay site.
They had three sons and now have seven grandchildren and two great granddaughters. The family all live locally and are looking forward to celebrating their wedding anniversary with a family meal at the new Wish Tower restaurant next month.
They enjoy holidays, walking, sea swimming and eating out. They say the secret to a happy marriage is talking to each other and not having any secrets.