Audrey and Ray Tell Their 70-Year-Old Love Story on Valentine’s Day - Ideal Carehomes

Audrey and Ray Tell Their 70-Year-Old Love Story on Valentine’s Day

Ray and Audrey Ward, a couple living at Blakelands Lodge care home, have been sharing their love story in honour of Valentine’s Day.

Audrey met Ray in 1950 during her time training to be a nurse in Cranfield. Ray was admitted to the hospital after having surgery on his appendix and was waiting to join the Merchant Navy.

The pair courted for one year until Ray proposed by the River Ouse in Bedford near the town bridge. Audrey continued, ‘It was late evening lit by the moonlight and the proposal was very romantic. We were engaged for two years following that beautiful night.’

In September 1953, Ray and Audrey married at Kempston Parish Church. Audrey explained, ‘My wedding dress was made by my friend’s mum using material I had collected using coupons at a Saturday market.

‘It was a beautiful white strapless dress; it was a bolero style. The dress had a collar and a gorgeous long veil. I was an evacuee, so I was living with my friend’s mum before the wedding. She helped me get dressed that morning for my wedding day.’

Audrey reminisced about one memory in particular:

‘Ray arrived with his best man in a two-seater car. I remember them both going circles around Stewartby roundabout laughing, which was a sight; two men dressed in merchant navy uniform swinging around this roundabout laughing!

‘I describe the day as ‘cheap and cheerful’ – it holds so many special memories. We’ve been married for 70 years now and we’re very happy. I wouldn’t change a thing.’

This Valentine’s Day, Audrey and Ray will be enjoying a romantic meal together at Blakelands Lodge alongside their friends in the home.

James Eeles-Feeney, the Home Manager at Blakelands Lodge, said, ‘We feel privileged that Audrey and Ray have shared their love story with us, and even more so that we were lucky enough to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with them.

‘We’re looking forward to making this Valentine’s Day one to remember for all of our residents with a homecooked meal and a few surprises…’

To find out more about Valentine’s Day at Blakelands Lodge, call 01234 862 629 or email

Blakelands Lodge is a residential and dementia care home operated by Ideal Carehomes. With 66 ensuite bedrooms, attractive décor and freely accessible gardens, Blakelands Lodge is welcoming new residents for short- and long-term placements with a unique all-inclusive fee to give peace of mind to residents and their families.