Alan asked Edna to dance after her regular partner didn't turn up – 60 years later and the couple are celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary this week (Thursday, June 9).

The pair, who live in Saughall, met at a ballroom dancing class in Rock Ferry back in 1952 and became Mr and Mrs Cooper after tying the knot at Christ Church, Higher Bebington, four years later.

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Alan, 85, who is originally from Eastham, and Edna, 84, who hails from Bebington, vividly recall their first meeting.

Romance blossomed after their first dance

Alan said: “It was coincidence because I went there on my own and the first thing the instructor said to me was ‘We have got a young lady here whose partner has not turned up’ and would I mind partnering her and that’s how it all began.”

Shortly afterwards Alan had to go and stay in London with family ‘for a spell’ but they continued their courtship.

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“He used to come up and I used to go down. Then we got engaged and we got married,” added Edna.

The couple moved to Chester in 1961 after Alan secured a job with North West Securities in City Road – which later became Bank of Scotland – while Edna was a typist. Common interests have always kept them close including when they used to sing in choirs. They both sang for the mixed Kelsborrow Choir and Alan sang for the male-only Westminster Singers.

Cheshire View in Christleton where the couple will celebrate with a party on Sunday.

And the pair have also enjoyed a busy social life through the Chester Heart Support Group after Alan originally got involved following a heart attack in 1998. He has been social secretary of the group for the past 14 years, organising events with Edna’s support.

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“We have been very social people,” said Alan. “We have always done something together.”

Unfortunately their dancing days are behind them but Edna commented: “We still go out together quite a lot.”

Eleven great grandchildren!

The couple have three children – Stephen, Susan and Janet – as well as seven grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

The big celebration for 85 family and friends takes place at Cheshire View in Christleton this Sunday with one lady, an old pal, coming all the way from Holland for the party. The invitation requests no presents but instead donations to be gifted to the Chester Heart Support Group.