When news broke recently of the need for middle-aged adults to take a brisk walk every day, Ferring couple Don and Brenda Scott had to smile.
The official advice from Public Health England matched the couple’s own philosophy, which is why they are still active at the age of 97.
Don and Brenda, of Ferringham Lane, celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary last Tuesday, which was also Brenda’s birthday.
Don said: “We can’t sit still. If we have got nothing to do, we look at each other and we say ‘shall we go out for a run’.
“We both have the same view that if you become a television idiot, sitting on the settee all day, you take ten years off your life.
“We are still bowling at Heene Community Centre. We are a little bit too old for outdoor bowling. We do training during the week and coming up now, going into the autumn and winter season, we challenge other clubs in the league.”
During World War Two, Don was in the Royal Air Force. Brenda was evacuated to Worcestershire with her work and it was there the couple met at a dance in May 1941. They married at St Anne’s Church, Wandsworth, on September 19, 1942.
Don has had quite an heroic past, having rescued a drowning boy by jumping into the icy waters of the River Thames in January, 1947.
He was honoured with one of the highest civilian awards for bravery, presented by the Carnegie Hero Fund Trust in 1948 with a citation saying ‘the rescuer displayed courage of the highest order’.
After the war, Don worked as an engineer. He said it was hard to find a job having been demobbed but he pounded the streets of London looking for work, talked himself into a two-week trial using skills he had learned in the RAF, and never looked back, ending up as a company director at an international firm.
The couple had two children, Barry and Carole Anne, who sadly died in 1995 aged 51. Don said he wrote an autobiography for them both, as he had known little of his own parents’ lives.
Royalists Don and Brenda have been collecting cards from the Queen over the years and were looking forward to receiving one this year.
They have been married so long, the anniversary does not even have an official name in the UK and if truth be told, they do not have proof of the occasion anyway.
The wedding certificate always raises a laugh down the generations, which now include great-great-great-grandchildren. The vicar filled it in so hastily, Mr Scott was at first marrying his father. The correction was then smudged, as wartime sirens wailed outside, so it was left unreadable. Nothing, though, can take away the love they have shared so long.