Former West Sussex County Council leader celebrates diamond anniversary

ALL you need is love, and luck, for a long and happy marriage, according to one former leader of West Sussex County Council.

Harold and Audrey Hall, from Warningcamp, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in Littlehampton, a place close to their hearts, surrounded by about 50 family and friends.

Harold, who served as a county councillor for Fontwell for 14 years, and as council leader from 2001 to 2003, said he met his wife during a dance at Littlehampton Badminton Club, in 1946.

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“I was serving in the Fleet Air Arm at Ford, and she was living in Littlehampton,” he said.

“She was 16 and I was 19. It was a typical case of boy meets girl.

“Little did I know when hanging out of the back of the Navy transport as it passed through Westergate that I would meet my partner for life at that dance.”

Audrey, who is well-known in the area for her charity work, including with the Arundel branch of the NSPCC, and as wardrobe mistress for the Arundel Players in the 1980s and 1990s, said Harold had quite an effect on her.

They were married in 1951, in St Mary’s Church, Littlehampton, but the weather wasn’t kind.

“It was very wet,” said Harold, 81, and originally from Surrey.

“There are two doors at the church, and in those days they were called the funeral door and the wedding door.

“Well, the rain was coming down in such a direction that we had to be photographed by the funeral door!”

After the ceremony, the pair moved to Wandsworth, where three children, Avril, Laurence and Julie were born, and then onto Stevenage, as Harold’s job, as a printer, dictated.

While at the Hertfordshire “new town”, their fourth child, Lousie, arrived, but the couple always knew they wanted to return to Sussex, Audrey’s home county, and they moved to Bognor in the 1970s.

They spent nine years there, before moving to Warningcamp, where they have stayed for the last 33 years.