A HUSBAND and wife who are thought to be the UK’s oldest couple and say they have never argued in 81 years of marriage, thanks to their golden rule.
Dorothy, 103 and Tim Walter, 102, met when they were just teenagers.
Dorothy and Tim Walker have been have been married for 81 years
The happy couple of their wedding day in 1942
The pair only moved into the care home Oakfiled House in Wingham, near Canterbury, in March last year, having previously lived in their own home in nearby Wingham Green until they were 101.
Tim was still getting behind the wheel of his car until he was 95 and played the cornet up to a similar time.
The pair first met when they were 18 and got married aged 21 during World War II and later ran their own fruit farm before having a quieter life as great-grandparents.
During the war, Dorothy worked for Supermarine in Southampton, where she made parts for Spitfires and Walrus flying boats
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Tim was an apprentice and was often tasked with repairing the machines Dorothy was using.
He would often ride his bike to go and meet Dorothy outside of work, but recollected who he would have to run for cover as the Luftwaffe flew overhead.
Tim told KentOnline: “Because I was an apprentice, I stayed at the living quarters while working at Supermarine in Southampton.
“I would ride my bicycle to go and see Dorothy. Quite often, I would be riding and an air raid siren would go off. I’d leave the bike and get to safety.
“When the siren stopped, I’d be back on my bike and on my way.”
He also remembered how a German bomb nearly killed one of his friends.
Tim said: “I remember a siren going off during the night once.
“I scrambled out of bed and looked out the window. We knew the Germans were quite often over us but I could see little black dots in the sky – they were bombs.
“It was horrendous and sure enough one landed not far away and buried one of my friends up to his neck. Luckily, he was alright.
“We were young enough to get through it.”
Tim and Dorothy then got married when they were 21 at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Newbury, Berkshire, in 1942.
They say they have “never argued” in all the time they have been married although they did admit they might have had “different opinions” at times.
Having got married their first daughter Carole was born in 1943 and their second daughter Sue arrived in 1947.
Sadly though, Carole died in 1985.
The family moved to the village of Elmstone, near Canterbury, Kent, in 1954 where they bought fruit farm.
One bit of advice the couple offered was to get out and about as much as possible.
They had a boat which they would often take around Europe.
Dorothy said: “We made a lot of friends and we’ve been lucky.
“France was our favourite place to go on holiday.
“When I came to Kent, I also joined the WI and would make wedding cakes for friends and family alongside helping on the farm.”
Having spent their working lives farming, the couple retired to Wingham Green where they lived until they were 101 before going into the care home.
When asked what advice they would give people dreaming of a long and happy marriage, Tim said: “You can’t point to one thing but providing you are content with life and your partner, you’ll be okay.”
The great-grandparents-of-three admitted that losing their independence had taken some getting used to.
Dorothy said: “We’re looked after very well here and we take each day as it comes. You have to embrace it and we’re fortunate to be here.”
They still have a sharp sense of humour too, when asked how it felt to be 102, Tim replied: “It’s just unnecessary.”
The manager of the car home, Nikki Cross, said she was surprised when she discovered how old the couple were when they first arrived.
She said: “They have both settled into the home well – they still attend the weekly exercise class.
“Tim keeps us entertained most days with his cheeky ways and stories of his life and Dorothy enjoys doing her puzzle books.
“As a home, we feel privileged to care for a couple who have been married for so many years and all enjoy listening to their stories.”
A database of the oldest couples in the country indicates another husband and wife, Allan and Dorothy McDowell, have been married for 82 years and 64 days – 304 days longer than the Walters.
However the McDowell’s combined age of 201 is less than the Walters’ at 205.
The couple, seen here on their 75th wedding anniversary, say they have never argued
While they say they have never argued they do admit to having ‘different opinions’ at times