Golden anniversary couple battled for their love at college

PUBLISHED: 06:30 11 September 2016

Sue and Paul Watts holding an anniversay present showing their children and grandchildren.

Sue and Paul Watts holding an anniversay present showing their children and grandchildren.

Archant

Sneaking around may not be the perfect start to a love story, but it didn’t do Paul and Sue Watt any harm - as they have now celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

The couple, both aged 74, of Langstone Drive, Exmouth, first met at Somerset College of Agriculture and Horticulture in 1961, where Sue worked in the enquiry office and Paul attended as a student.

The couple, who once ran a fruit and vegetable shop in Exeter Road called Wallys, hid their romance from the college, but refused to let it affect their relationship.

Paul said: “I used to sneak out to see Sue and get back in time for the curfew bell at 9.30pm.”

Sue said: “No way would we let the college stop us from seeing each other.

“We were not supposed to go out together. The warden always said to me if Paul was missing, they knew where to find him.”

The golden couple, who moved to Exmouth in 1973, have three children and four grandchildren. They went on their first date to a concert by the jazz player Acker Bilk.

Sue recalled the time Paul took the opportunity to ask her out while she was working.

She said: “After he had been there a while, he knocked on the door and said “I have got an enquiry. Will you go out with me?”

Paul, a former fruit farmer, was forced to retire when he was 40 after being diagnosed with arthritis and spondylitis. He revealed the couple’s secret to a long-lasting and happy marriage.

He said: “We were told by an American when you first get married what you have to do is just say ‘yes ma’am’ to everything and then do what you want.

“We now put up with each other. I married the right girl.”

The couple raised £125 for cancer charity Force, after they asked friends to donate rather than buy them a present for their anniversary.

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