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Let’s stick together

Rita and Terry Crump, both 71 and about to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, on how they met and what has kept them together.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2010 14:16 IST

RITA I spotted Terry when I walked into Gordon Little's dance school in Essex. I remember thinking, "He's quite nice!" That night, the teacher partnered us up.
TERRY I didn't know straight away that Rita was the one for me. I was 15 and I had a girlfriend at the time, but we became close when Rita's father died. We saw the light, I suppose you could say. By then, I'd started working at an insurance company in the city and also studied three evenings a week at the college.
RITA Terry was very good when my dad got sick – he'd sit on the edge of the bed and talk to him and they'd do crosswords. It meant a lot to my father and it meant a lot to me, too.
TERRY We got married in 1960. Our wedding was low-key. I asked for her mother's blessing and she asked me what I'd do if she said no. I told her it wouldn't make any difference.
RITA What brought us closer was when our first daughter was born. I've always hated hospitals, so we decided to have a home birth.
TERRY It was in the middle of the great freeze in 1963. The midwife told Rita she wasn't having labour pains and left. So I ended up delivering the baby. We didn't panic – we just got on with it.
RITA It was around the time Thalidomide's effects were being seen, so he was counting our daughter's fingers and toes as she came out.
TERRY Twenty years and three children later, we went back to dancing. I was down in the dumps as my mother had died, so Rita got us back to classes to cheer me up. Once we started, it got serious and we started competing again.
RITA We did really well, and then I developed arthritis in my knees. Terry said we had to stop as he could see how much pain I was in, he would see the tears in my eyes. He knows me in a way no one else does. That's special.
TERRY Rita has always been practical. I had a stroke seven years ago, so I couldn't walk or talk for a long time. I've been lucky –I was fit because of the dancing – but I was even luckier to have Rita. She nursed me back to good health and never made a fuss.
RITA Dance brought us together and it's still very much a part of our lives: we teach, we organise tea dances and dance holidays – and we do it all together.
TERRY Madam and I are busier than ever now that we've retired – we've never been the type to sit around idle. What would be the point in that?

First Published: Apr 17, 2010 13:23 IST