Published: Tuesday 4th August 2020
Wigan couple, Harry and Joyce Hope have celebrated their milestone 70th wedding anniversary at Ash Tree House care home with the help of the thoughtful staff team.
Carers organised for the couple to enjoy a buffet-style afternoon tea with sandwiches, freshly made cream cakes and a glass of fizz to celebrate the occasion. Lifestyle Manager, Lorraine Harris, also arranged for a surprise performance by Ash Tree House’s very own Caretaker, Gareth Ronan, who serenaded the duo with their favourite love songs.
The couple first met at Saint George Junior School in Atherton. However, it was not until their early twenties that they noticed a romantic connection. Harry said, ‘I always thought Joyce was beautiful and when we reconnected after our school years, I just knew she was the girl for me!’. Joyce added, ‘Harry made me feel so special, I knew I didn’t need to look any further for love’.
Harry took Joyce to a local dance hall in Atherton for their first official date and the pair have many wonderful memories of the evening of dancing all night and laughing until their cheeks ached. Joyce said, ‘I loved to dance and trips to the dance halls became a regular thing for us’. Harry added, ‘Despite all the time we spent dancing, I have always had two left feet!’.
After several years courting, Harry proposed to Joyce and the couple excitedly tied the knot in 1950 at Atherton Parish Church. He said, ‘I can remember how nervous I was when I asked Joyce for her hand in marriage, when she said ‘Yes’ I was the happiest man on earth!’.
They settled in Atherton near Wigan and welcomed son, Michael, in 1953 and daughter Gillian in 1957. Harry began his successful career in engineering, whilst Joyce worked part-time as a local Doctors Clinic selling baby milk. The family often enjoyed travelling to the beaches of Blackpool and Paignton for holidays in the summer months.
Harry said, ‘The staff at Ash Tree House are brilliant. We had such a wonderful anniversary which was made even more special by our niece, Kay, baking us a fruit cake. That was the cake we ate at our wedding all those years ago and it made for a lovely touch on our 70th anniversary!’.
Joyce said, ‘We have had a wonderful 70 years wed and I believe the secret to a long and happy marriage like ours is to accept one another’s differences and to never go to bed on an argument!’.
Home Manager, Chris Durnan, said, ‘I am delighted to see how much our afternoon tea and entertainment meant to Harry and Joyce. Being able to go the extra mile for our residents is an incredibly rewarding feeling and I am very pleased to have been part of their celebrations’.
Ash Tree House is operated by Ideal Carehomes and recently achieved a ‘Good’ rating for a second time by the Care Quality Commission. Residents at Ash Tree House can enjoy a full programme of health, leisure and wellbeing activities managed by a dedicated team of carers. All 60 bedrooms are en-suite, enabling staff to deliver person-centred care in a dignified manner, promoting independence as far as possible. For more information about Ash Tree House, contact Chris on 01942 256089 or click here.