A happy couple from Icklesham celebrated 65 years of wedded bliss together today (Wednesday, July 19).
Reg Flint, 90, and his wife, Monica, 87, tied the knot in 1952.
He grew up in the Great Depression in the 1930s, which also saw the rise of Nazi Germany and Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists.
Reg witnessed the first day of the Blitz when he was 13 and watched hundreds of German bombs crash down on the docks and streets where he grew up.
He met Monica after the war when she was a nurse in Docklands.
On the day he was due to box in an amateur tournament, Reg was rushed to St Olave’s Hospital suffering from gangrenous appendicitis.
He said: “This proved to be a blessing. One of the nurses was Monica Kelly, a young Irish girl, my one and only love, and I ended up marrying her.”
They moved in with Reg’s parents. Monica continued nursing while Reg worked in the docks and went to art classes in the evenings, where he was taught by David Bomberg, of international repute.
Reg worked in Smithfield meat market and then joined the Met before moving to Luton to join Bedfordshire Constabulary. He bcecame a chief inspector, while Monica’s career progressed to sister and then assistant matron.
He remembers one of his jobs at Luton was to get the Beatles safely out of the Ritz theatre where they were performing one night and in danger of being mobbed.
He said: “I had no conversation with them. They were just four tired and exhausted young lads who did as they were told. Next day they flew to Chicago where their international fame took off.”
During his police career he gave up boxing and his art. Then while in retirement with Monica, Reg graduated with a BA honours degree at the Kent Institute of Art and Design.
After obtaining his degree in applied painting and sculpture he had his work shown in Canterbury, The London Oratory, the University of Greenwich and in Hastings.
Reg was awarded the Daler Rowney Prize for Drawing and Painting at the Kent Institute of Art and Design. He designed a stained-glass window of the Blessed Johannes Duns Scotus, which was installed at St Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Rye, in 1993.
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