Joan and Reg Elliott celebrated 75 years together with their son, Cliff and his wife Diana, neighbours and carers at their apartment in Nerja last Friday. Their Spanish neighbours provided a cake and cava to toast the couple’s anniversary and the nonagenarians received a telegram from Queen Elizabeth II.
Joan and Reg met at the Bury Palais de Danse in 1941. Reg had been posted to Bury where Joan was working at the Bury Felt Company as a machinist, producing webbing for the armed forces.
Less than a year later, Joan and Reg had 14 days to decide whether to get married or not before Reg went to Africa with his regiment. The 19-year-olds were married at Uxbridge Registry Office on 2 June 1942. Joan had joined the RAF and both were in uniform, so there was to be no wedding dress. They spent their honeymoon at Reg’s parents’ house in Portsmouth, a city which was being bombed on a nightly basis.
They were separated for two years, spending only one month together in that time when Reg was given leave. When the war ended the couple continued to live abroad with the army, before returning to the UK to work, Reg as a teacher and Joan for the Department of Employment.
When the couple retired in 1983 they decided to move to Nerja, where they had already visited on a number of occasions on holiday. Their first house overlooked Nerja’s nine-hole golf course and a then undeveloped Burriana beach. They later moved to their current apartment, where they have lived for 34 years.