Whistle at choir practice led to 70 years of marriage!

LOVING COUPLE -- Eric and Ella Monk, who have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary
LOVING COUPLE -- Eric and Ella Monk, who have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary

A LOVING Hucknall couple who were married on Easter Monday way back in 1941 celebrated their milestone 70th wedding anniversary yesterday (Thursday).

Inseparable Eric and Ella Monk, of Eastwood Close, tied the knot at Hucknall Parish Church on Monday April 14, 1941.

.Ella and Eric  Monk on their wedding day

.Ella and Eric Monk on their wedding day

Now they have reached their rare and incredible platinum anniversary.

The celebrations stem from the moment the couple met after Eric whistled at Ella as she left choir practice at the former St Peter’s Church on Watnall Road.

When asked what she put their long-lasting relationship down to, Ella (91) said: “When we were married, morals were a lot higher than they are today. When you got married, you were expected to stay married.”

The couple’s resolve was tested when Eric was called up into the Royal Air Force (RAF) just four months after their wedding. He was away from home for five years.

“We have had our ups and downs but we have survived,” added Ella.

Eric (89) was born in Hucknall and went to Butlers Hill School. His first job was at Gerrard’s soap factory in Basford. After leaving the RAF, he worked at Bestwood and Linby Collieries for 11 years and then at Rolls-Royce in Hucknall for 27 years.

He was also a part-time member of Hucknall Fire Brigade for 31 years before leaving in 1982.

Ella (nee Clarke) moved to Hucknall from Bolsover at the age of 14. She worked in domestic service until her marriage.

The couple had three children. Their eldest, Valerie Fish, died in 1996 from cancer.

They have a son, Robert Monk (67), and a daughter, Karen Monk (54), who has Down’s Syndrome and still lives with the couple.

Ella and Eric have lived on Eastwood Close for a staggering total of 64 years. They moved in to their home when it was a newly-built council house and later bought the property.

To mark their anniversary, family and friends were invited to the family home. But Ella quipped: “The problem is, when you get to our age, you’re like the last of the Mohicans!”