Residents and staff at Whitegates care home in Hastings, recently celebrated a very special occasion: the 65th wedding anniversary, known as the Blue Sapphire anniversary.

Mike and Barbara are both residents at the Greensleeves Care home, making the celebration all the more special as they got to share their day with their fellow residents and staff.

Sixty-five years of marriage is a huge achievement, and one that feels quite unimaginable to many people! However, Mike and Barbara have known each other their whole lives, having technically ‘met’ as babies at the welfare clinic. They grew up in each other’s company, as Mike was friends with Barbara’s brother, and they were all members of the local church youth group.

As they got older, life got in the way, as it often does, and they went their separate ways: Mike undertook National Service, and Barbara entered the nursing profession. However, once Mike had returned, they quickly picked up where they had left off, attending swing nights together at the local jazz clubs. There is nothing like dancing to Glenn Miller to rekindle a romance!

From then on, they were together for two years, before getting engaged for a further two years, during which time they were saving up as much as they could for their wedding. At the ripe young age of 23, they finally tied the knot on 17th March 1956 in a modest registry office ceremony. On the day itself, neither the bride nor groom had any change, so Mike’s father stepped in to pay the fee of 7/6: 7 shillings and a sixpence.

Barbara was never one for tradition and chose a black tailored suit for her wedding outfit, with a green hat, gloves and shoes to match. The couple honeymooned in the seaside town of Blackpool, saying at the prestigious Metropol Hotel, where they danced every night.

Reminiscing on their marriage so far, Mike and Barbara had the following advice to other couples, particularly the young ones:

“We have had our ups and downs in life, but we always worked things out together. There is no point in wasting time arguing!”

We would like to wish Mike and Barbara many more happy years together- may they be an inspiration to us all.