The dance hall meeting that led to steps down the aisle for Lewes couple

Diamond Wedding anniversary of Fred and Joy Burgess
Diamond Wedding anniversary of Fred and Joy Burgess

A passion for dancing changed the lives of popular Lewes couple Fred and Joy Burgess.

They first set eyes on each other at the old Regent Dance Hall in Brighton in 1949 – and romance blossomed.

Five years later they were married at Streat Church, in Joy’s home village, and yesterday (Thursday) they celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

Fred, 86, is a Lewesian through and through – he was born in Morris Road – and the couple have lived in the county town throughout their 60 years of marriage.

He was a motorcycle mechanic. His first job was at Rice Brothers and he later worked for Redhill Motors and Sussex Police, where he was employed for 21 years before retirement.

Joy, 80, first worked in the Lewes department store Plumber and Wallace and later as a receptionist before followed in her father’s footsteps at a market garden in Ditchling – Mueller Brothers.

The couple, of Newton Road, Landport, have three children and three grandchildren. They are members of St John sub Castro Church.

They received a message of congratulation from The Queen on their diamond day and the celebrations are due to continue on Sunday, March 9, when the couple will enjoy afternoon tea at The Shelleys Hotel in Lewes, together with family and friends – and all three of their bridesmaids from six decades ago.