A SPARKLING couple who grew up in Longbridge and now live in Bromsgrove celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary yesterday.
Growing up Dennis and Maureen Millward lived four doors away from each other in Kingswood Road.
The pair went to Waseley Hills School and used to get the bus together to and from there.
But it could have been a different story.
Dennis, 82, said: “We lived right on the Worcestershire border.
“We had friends living opposite who went to Colmers School because they were on the Birmingham side whereas we were classed as Worcestershire.”
And it meant that when the pair did get married in 1960 they did so at Bromsgrove Registry Office.
That was followed by a weekend in Margate as that was all the happy couple could afford at the time.
The pair got together as a couple three years after Dennis left the RAF.
Qualified electrician Dennis began working at Longbridge just as production started on the Mini.
He climbed the ladder at the factory and when he retired in 1998 he was a manufacturing manager.
The pair started living in a caravan and worked hard to save for a house with Dennis working nights while Maureen was employed as a typist at Super Oil Seals and Gadgets in Kings Norton.
Maureen, 79, said: “In the early days we had hardly any money and there has been some ups and downs but we scrimped and saved and eventually got the cream.”
And she added her dad was sceptical about their marriage.
“He said we were too young and it wouldn’t last – and here we are.”
During their life together they had four children – Lucille, Denise, Keith and Kevin – and now have seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
“It’s been a busy 60 years,” said Dennis. “But it’s gone in a flash.”
Maureen, 79, agreed she felt time had gone quickly.
“You blink and then you have been married 60 years.”
As well as each other, another passion for the couple has been ballroom dancing.
The pair attended Barbara and Brian Boscott’s School of Dancing and went to lessons in Rowheath Pavilion, Bournville and Quinton.
Dennis and Maureen enjoyed the past time for 25 years, embarking on dance holidays and competing throughout the Midlands.
They won bronze, silver, gold and gold bar international certificates, won trophies and finished second in competitions in Latin and ballroom in Stratford.
Dennis said: “It was a lot of fun but was also very dangerous in a marriage – if you literally put a foot wrong.”
And on the secret of a long happy marriage Dennis handed responsibility of that question to Maureen.
She said: “It has been sheer determination to get through the tough times, working hard, pulling together in the same direction – and make sure you say ‘I love you’ every day.”
After celebrating yesterday with family Dennis and Maureen will be heading to Brockencote Hall for afternoon tea and having a get-together with friends and relatives at the Abbey Hotel.