If you’ve been married 65 years you might think it’s time to put your feet up and rest a little. But that’s not how life is for Lorna and Raphael Tucker, Charlton’s very own Peter Pan and Wendy.
Their secret of a long and happy marriage is – among other things – to be up and active and together.
Lorna met Andover born and bred Raphael when they were both learning shorthand at evening classes and they’ve been together almost ever since, holding hands, going places and making friends.
“They’re a very loving couple,” said their daughter, Jacky. “They still hold hands when walking down the High Street.”
They’re also a very active couple. And when they were younger they used to pack their two young children, Jacky and her brother David (and a tent), into their motorbike side car and set off for trips around the country.
Now in their 80s, the motorbike is a little less appealing but they are still not taking it easy.
Today their adventures are mainly with their friends at the Peter Pan Club, the fitness and friendship club at Andover Leisure Centre for over 50s. They go to the leisure centre at least three times a week for the gym or the club, which holds a range of activities including badminton, table tennis and swimming.
“Keep it moving or don’t be surprised if it seizes up!” said former water board and local government officer Raphael, who’s now 86.
The couple have been going to the Peter Pan Club for 26 years and call it almost their second home. They celebrated their special Blue Sapphire anniversary with their Peter Pan friends and the Valley Leisure staff presented them with a big bunch of flowers and a congratulatory card.
“Lorna and Raphael are an inspiration to us all,” said Gillian Hughes from Valley Leisure. “We all hope we’re like them when we’re in our 80s too.”
Lorna, who’s now 85, was the school secretary at both Knight’s Enham Juniors and Wolversdene School and taught swimming and archery too.
The Peter Pan Club runs on a Monday and Wednesday at Andover Leisure Centre. To find out more contact John Oliver on (01264) 353972.
Pictured are Lorna and Raphael Tucker (centre and second right) with their Andover Leisure Centre Peter Pan Club friends, and their daughter Jacky (second left), being presented with flowers from Valley Leisure’s chief executive Kevin Paterson (far right).