SHARING a love of music is something Leamington couple Diana and Ken Ross have been doing for 60 years.
The couple, who have just celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary, opened Presto Music on Portland Place in 1986 after moving to the town and finding there were few places to get new instruments and sheet music.
Diana and Ken Ross, now 85 and 84 respectively, first met at Coventry Bridge Club back in 1953, and only discovered a mutual love of music later in their relationship.
Diana had produced musical theatre productions for children and Ken had been a shop assistant manager, so when they moved to Leamington they were able to join forces to run the music shop full-time.
Keen composer Diana had previously taught at Stivichall school in Coventry before moving with Ken, originally from Burton-on-Trent, to Lillington.
The inspiration for the shop name came from the literal meaning of the word ‘Presto’ – meaning music played at a fast tempo – with the shop being able to get customers what they wanted very quickly.
Diana said: “We always wanted to find new music to inspire us and perform it as part of both of our hobbies but we found we were waiting weeks or months to get the sheet music or records delivered. We had to change this, so we took the thought in our heads and put it into action and opened up Presto Music.
“The shop itself became a centre for music in Leamington and Warwick and we were proud to sell classical sheet music, and a variety of instruments.”
Away from the shop the couple were actively involved in the local music scene and performed for many years with Warwick and Kenilworth Choral Society – Diana playing the violin and Ken the piano.
The couple retired from running the shop nine years ago but it is still going strong under new management and a new name, Presto Classical, and is now based in Park Street.
And retiring has simply given the couple even more time to indulge their passion for music, with a grand piano in their Lillington home, together with a number of other instruments.
Diana added: “We still have a real love for music and even in our old age, Ken and I still get a burst of energy when we play. We hope to keep playing music together for a long, long time.
The duet celebrated their anniversary with a sing-a-long at home with family and friends.
Diana said: “People ask us the secret to our long marriage all the time and we’re happy to say it comes from always looking out for each other and sharing interests, which we were able to do very well with our love of music.”