DANCING the night away at the RAF base camp in Padgate, William and Marjorie Chalmers locked eyes for the first time in 1956.

A year later they were happily married, and this month they marked their 65th wedding anniversary.

But sad news recently broke that William fell ill and was admitted to Warrington Hospital earlier in December and died on Christmas Day morning, before the couple could celebrate their special day.

William, 88, known to most as Bill, grew up in Scotland and only found his way to Warrington in his early twenties while working as a chef in the RAF.

Marjorie, 87, or Madge for short, was born in Sankey Bridges and had a huge ‘love’ of dancing in her youth.

She attended a dance with all her friends held at the Padgate RAF base where Bill was stationed at the time.

After quickly falling head over heels, Bill got down on one knee at bus stop in rainy Manchester and the rest was history.

The love birds married only a few days short of Christmas, on December 21, 1957, at St Barnabas Church on Lovely Lane.

After leaving the RAF, a career he ‘loved’, Bill got a job as a driver of arctic lorries for well-known firm, Tetley Walkers.

Madge worked at Bennetts social club straight from leaving school until she was married.Warrington Guardian: Bill and Madge celebrating more than six decades togetherBill and Madge celebrating more than six decades together (Image: Newsquest)

The couple had two children, Debbie and Stewart and purchased a house on Astley Close in Walton and have lived there for more than 60 years.

Madge stayed at home at took care of the children but went back to work when they were older, working at steelworks firm, Peter Stubbs in town.

The pair have two grandchildren and a great grandson whom they ‘idolise’.

The happy couple enjoyed spending time with their family and holidaying in Lossiemouth, Scotland.

Also lovers of rugby, they enjoyed religiously watching the Wolves play on TV together.

Madge spoke of the couple reaching their Blue Sapphire anniversary, saying: “We are very happy in our own little way. We have received a card from the King and Queen Consort.”

Proud granddaughter, Leann said: “Wow, what an incredible achievement to reach 65 years of marriage.

While the whole family were planning to celebrate the milestone with a meal, sadly Bill was unwell and had to be admitted to the Hospital.

Bill and Madge’s son, Stewart, broke the sad news of Bills passing.

“Unfortunately Dad (Bill) passed away on Christmas day morning, he had family with him till the end, it was peaceful,” Stewart said.

“He thought the staff at Warrington hospital were "bloody" brilliant and he was made to feel comfortable by everyone.

“He my mum and the family cannot thank the hospital enough at a very difficult and challenging time for hospitals and staff.

"As a family we will miss him terribly and more so my mum who has been with dad for all these years."