65 years of happiness for unlikely pair

Ruth and Bill Chandler are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.
Ruth and Bill Chandler are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.

An unlikely couple from Halifax celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Sunday having triumphed against the odds.

Bill Chandler was in the Royal Engineers in 1948 when he met German-born Ruth, an interpreter and telephonist.

Ruth and Bill Chandler, Ingham Lane, Bradshaw are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.

Ruth and Bill Chandler, Ingham Lane, Bradshaw are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.

The couple liked each other instantly when they met at the cinema on a blind date set up by friends.

Mrs Chandler said: “I saw him and I liked him. He was clean and polite.”

However, the Royal Engineers were none too pleased about the match.

Mrs Chandler said: “We were two years engaged because the forces didn’t approve. We stuck to it but every time he put in an application to get married he was posted somewhere else.

“They never trusted German girls after the war, but either you want to marry him or you don’t.”

After moving around the world to support Bill’s career, the couple finally wed in Hannover, Germany, on August 23, 1950.

Mr Chandler said: “We’ve been very happy. We’ve always been together. The only time I’ve been separated from my wife was when I went to Korea in 1954.”

Since then, the couple have lived all over the world, including in Berlin during the time the wall was built.

Mrs Chandler said: “We lived out of a suitcase for quite a while. It was a very trying time.”

The couple moved to Halifax in 1971 when Bill left the forces and have lived here ever since. They have two daughters, Yvonne and Jacqueline, four grandchildren, Richard, Nicky, Phillipa and Joanna, and one great-granddaughter, Scarlett.

Ruth will be 90 next year and Bill is 86. She said: “They keep telling me that I’ve got a toy boy!”

The family had a low-key celebration on Sunday with their eldest daughter Yvonne.