When two well-known names on the Leamington area music scene met 60 years ago it was not as musicians – it was as bridge players.
And around one year later Ken and Diana Ross – a name she’s had her leg pulled about for years – were married at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Finham.
The couple then spent their honeymoon at Juan-le-Pins on the CÔte d’Azur.
Both accomplished musicians, they moved to Leamington in 1986 to open Presto Music in Portland Street.
It proved a big hit with music lovers, musicians and youngsters hoping to learn an instrument and looking for advice.
Diana said: “There was an immediate demand for sheet music, but we soon realised that instruments were also needed. We stocked non- electrical instruments, both string and wind.”
And because of more demand following the closure of a classical music shop in Warwick, the couple later expanded the business to sell classical and jazz CDs.
Ken is known for playing piano, including with the Coventry Savoy Operatic, and Diana for writing, composing and producing children’s musicals.
For many years she was associated with the Leamington and Warwick Music Centre, a county-council funded service.
Diana’s productions have been staged at the Royal Spa Centre, St Mary’s in Warwick, and the Warwick Arts Centre.
The couple sold the business not long after their golden wedding anniversary and it became Presto Classical, with a shop in Park Street.
Diane said: “We enjoyed our time so much at the shop and met so many interesting people.”
Now enjoying “quiet retirement” at their home off Lillington Avenue, Leamington, Ken is aged 84 and Diana, 85.
The couple have a son Tony, and three grandchildren.
Their late son Christopher was a musical accompanist who lived and worked in London and had his own choir called The Music Makers, which performed in Leamington and Warwick.
Of their marriage, Diana said: “Having a shared interest in music and bridge has helped to make a long and happy marriage.”
And of sharing a name with the famous American singer, Diana said: “It’s given me lots of laughs over the years, especially if I meet someone for the first time – but I wish I had her money. Many a person has said to me they can tell people they’ve met and spoken to Diana Ross.”