Published: 15:00, 14 June 2015
Parish councillor Valerie Archer was determined to fit into her wedding dress in time for her golden anniversary.
So the 69-year-old shed almost six stone and get back into the white lace gown which she had kept in the loft throughout 50 years of marriage.
Mrs Archer, who sits on Wainscott Parish Council, married Trevor on May 29, 1965 at St Mary’s Church in Strood. She was 19, he was 29, and they met through a mutual interest in motorbikes.
To celebrate their anniversary, the couple had a family party and friends organised a motorcycle and sidecar for a picture opportunity with Mrs Archer wearing her dress.
The grandmother of one said: “I can’t believe I could get in it again, but I did. It was up in the loft and we moved house a few times we always bought it with us.”
At her heaviest Mrs Archer weighed 16st 9lb and is now 10st 10lb and a size 12.
She joined her local Weight Watchers group and set herself simple targets to help her lose weight. She still power walks three times a week and goes to group sessions to help others and keep a check on her weight.
Mr and Mrs Archer also visited East Boldre in the New Forest where they went on their honeymoon. The cottage they stayed in now has new owners but they were happy for the couple to visit and have tea.
She also said that there wasn’t a secret to a long and happy marriage. She said: “There are ups and downs, sometimes I am sure we can’t stand each other. In some ways we are opposites but we both like motorbikes.
“I also think that when you first meet somebody there’s got to be that instant spark. The age gap between us didn’t really come into the question at all.”
Mrs Archer used to work at the Guildhall Museum in Rochester High Street and Mr Archer worked as an air force photographer before doing security work.
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