Couple who met at age of 15 celebrate 70 years together

Frank and Minnie Fowler.  110621M3.
Frank and Minnie Fowler. 110621M3.

They met at 15, and more than 70 years later have just celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary.

Ripon residents Frank and Minnie Fowler, both 91, marked 70 years of their life together on Tuesday, June 21.

They were married at St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York in 1941, after meeting in 1935, when they were both only 15 years, old.

Frank said it was at a night school dance, known as the “Tanner Hop”, the couple first saw each other.

Originally from York, the couple moved to Ripon in 1989 and have lived in the city ever since.

When they first started courting Minnie worked at the Rowntree’s chocolate factory in York while Frank worked as a joiner.

Frank then saw action with the British Army in France for four years.

After serving his time he returned to York and his work as a joiner.

Staff at Mr and Mrs Fowler’s current home, Long Meadows Nursing Home on Harrogate Road, Ripon, praised the couple’s “fantastic sense of humour and memory.”

Care home staff and other residents celebrated the special occassion with Frank and Minnie and their extended family.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Ripon Mick and Gillian Stanley also popped in for the afternoon tea party on the big day.

Frank presented his wife with a bouquet of red rosebuds, the same flowers Minnie carried on their wedding day 70 years ago.

The couple were also delighted to receive a telegram of congratulations from the Queen.

Frank and Minnie revealed the secret to their marriage success.

The advice they gave was: “Don’t tell lies, don’t keep secrets and always pull together.

“But of course,” they said, “the main thing is love!”

The couple have two daughters, five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

They are planning to continue their celebrations with a meal out with the whole family on Sunday, June 26.

Back in April Frank and Minnie took centre stage at Long Meadow’s royal wedding celebrations.

As the longest married residents of the home they cut a wedding cake made specially for the occasion by staff nurse Carol Wilson.