Golden couple from Ewell celebrate half a century of wedded bliss
A couple who are celebrating half a century of wedded bliss are still as much in love as the day they met.
Michael and Dolly Merchant, of Derek Avenue in Ewell, celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary on Saturday.
The couple, parents to Trevor, 48, Clive, 47, and Malcolm, 46 and grandparents of four, married at St Martin’s Church in Epsom in 1962, the year the Beatles launched their first single Love Me Do.
They met when Michael, now 69, worked as a porter at Leatherhead station which Dolly, now 70, used to pass through on her way to work as a typist. She said Michael "would clip my ticket" every day until the pair got talking.
Michael said: "We used to notice each other at the station and just got talking, as one does. Then we started courting.
"I don’t know where the time has gone - I still feel 20 in my head. We are very proud to have reached the milestone.
"You have to work at marriage - we’ve had our ups and downs but we’ve stuck together."
Asked why he was attracted to Dolly, he added: "She laughed at my jokes and has always had a very pretty face and smile.
"And I think she thought I was Mr Wonderful."
Dolly said: "It was his sense of humour and his blue eyes."
The couple enjoy spending time together visiting the theatre, dancing, walking and exploring architecture but said their separate interests have helped their marriage to survive so long.
Dolly said: "Marriage is about give and take. You can’t be selfish and you have to give one another space.
"Michael used to manage local football teams and has always played golf, and I’m part of the Women’s Institute and enjoy keeping fit and doing Tai Chi.
"It gives us other interests and then we enjoy our time together.
"But too much space isn’t good otherwise you drift."
Dolly said the institution of marriage is "wonderful" and believes couples should try harder to make it work.
She added: "Marriage is a total commitment.
"We all have our problems but you have to work through them together. It is all too easy these days to split-up, so people don’t try."