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  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns

Len and Marie fly the flag for marriage longevity

Len and Marie celebrate their 62nd wedding anniversary at the Hawthorns Retirement complex in Braintree this year.

IN an age when marriage appears as much as part of our throw-away society as a discarded pair of shoes, Len and Marie Leisk are flying the flag for longevity.

The couple have just marked their 62nd wedding anniversary, having first met at the age of 12. They celebrated in their new home, The Hawthorns, a unique retirement complex in Braintree which is enabling them to continue enjoying to the full their life together.

They first met as 12-year-olds at Billericay School but it was another five years before they starting 'dating'. Three years later they were engaged and two years after that, at the age of 22, they were married in Billericay. They later moved to Danbury where they lived for 27 years. Then, just before Christmas, they moved to The Hawthorns at Meadow Park.

Len said: "We're fortunate enough to still be fit and active and we had a lovely bungalow in Danbury but we wanted to make a lifestyle decision about the future whilst we were both in good health rather than wait until we were forced into a decision. The bungalow was too big and the garden, whilst I love gardening, was getting too much to handle.

"Marie's sister lived at the Hawthorns and we visited regularly so we got to know the place very well. We loved it and the lifestyle it offered. You have your own apartment but pay one monthly fee which covers everything – all your meals, bills, housekeeping, entertainment and excursions. The only thing you have to worry about is how to spend all that free-time you'll have on your hands! I use the gym equipment and play table-tennis while Marie has taken up Tai-Chi and joined the literary group."

Marie added: "We love it here. We've been fortunate enough to spend so many happy years together and we are looking forward to many more in our new home. The staff can't do enough for you to make sure you have a wonderful time."

The couple, both now 84, have two daughters who live locally and a son who lives in Australia. They also have four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

So what is the secret of a long and happy marriage? "Give and take," said Marie. "A sense of humour," said Len. Both concur that living within your means is also important. "Too many couples' arguments and problems nowadays seem to stem from money worries. Never spend more than you have was our way of thinking and it kept us happy," added Marie.

The Hawthorns is now operating at full capacity but anyone who would like to know more about its unique lifestyle and place their name on the waiting list can contact 01376 335500.