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Doreen and John Chappell celebrate platinum wedding
A COUPLE who celebrate their platinum wedding today have told how they met through a strange – almost lethal – twist of fate.
Doreen and John Chappell, who live in the Heslington Road area of York, were married on March 13, 1943, at York Register Office during the Second World War.
They had met while working at Terry’s Chocolate Factory, which was used during the war to make aircraft parts.
But Mr Chappell, now 93, revealed how he should actually have been serving abroad with the British Army, which he had volunteered to join earlier in the war.
His plans were thrown into disarray when he suffered a ruptured appendix in 1941, which caused a thrombosis in his leg.
He said his mother was sent a telegram warning her that he was dangerously ill in hospital in Middlesbrough.
He eventually recovered but he was left with poor use of the leg which meant he couldn’t march and eventually led to his discharge from the army in 1942 on medical grounds.
After struggling to find a job, he eventually got a position as a foreman at the aircraft factory in Bishopthorpe Road.
He boldly asked Doreen out on a date and, much to the scorn of a mate who said she was far too young, she agreed, and they hit it off from the start.
While Mrs Chappell, now 87, has suffered from a stroke, her husband has enjoyed reasonably good health since his illness more than 71 years ago.
He said that over the years, he had worked on the railways, for York City Council as caretaker of a block of flats and finally as a securirty guard at York Art Gallery.
The couple, who have lived in various parts of the city including Gillygate, Acomb, Bishopthorpe Road and Wood Street, have two sons, Malcolm and Phillip, and they also have two grandchildren.
A family celebration was being organised today.
Mrs Chappell said it had been a happy marriage. “We are as happy now as we were on the day we married,” she said.