An engaging account of true romance in wartime
A wartime proposal by John Salinas was short and sweet.
"I've got £25, will you marry me?" he asked sweetheart Dorothy.
More than half a century later, there are tears in his eyes as he recalls the moment for this engaging Testimony Films documentary, Love and Marriage.
The three-part series begins in a gentler age when it comes to relationships – a strange situation considering many were being played out against the backdrop of war.
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John's home leave from the Merchant Navy meant trips to the cinema with Dorothy, where holding hands was "heaven."
He recalls arriving home and walking past a beautiful girl in an elegant hat on the station platform and feeling guilty for noticing her. It was Dorothy. He loved everything about her, he says, particularly "the smell of her".
In any age John would be lucky to have such a passionate romance. In wartime, sacrifices were made on the homefront as well as on the front line.
Writer Diana Athill recalled how she realised that her sister – born during the First World War – was not her father's child.
But her parents stayed together for life despite her mother's indiscretion.
Many couples spoke of their determination to not let the children feel their discontent. The typical suburban home was a father who went to work, a mother who stayed at home and two children.
The notion was that a good marriage could withstand whatever stood against it, according to agony aunt Denise Robertson.
Her parents would be locked in a passionate embrace – stunned by the pain of parting when he was only returning to work after lunch.
Denise and her sister would sit on the stairs and yell "Hollywood" as they stood in a clinch.
Testimony Films create such charming documentaries packed with emotional sentiments from real and interesting people.
We live in a time when relationships are under pressure, lives are difficult and the institution of marriage is under attack.
This programme was a moving reminder that it wasn't always like that.