Sometimes, doing the washing up pays off-it certainly did for Clowne couple George and Mary Holliday who are now celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.
It was over a sink full of dirty dishes that their eyes met for the first time when Mary was volunteering on an army base in Orkney during the Second World War.
George, who had been called up when he was 18 and deployed to Orkney as a driver, was helping out with the washing up and the pair struck up a conversation before becoming an official couple.
When the war finished, George and Mary moved to Glasgow, where Mary’s family were living, and they were married the following year in October 1946.
The couple then moved to Sheffield where George worked at at the steelworks, while Mary later trained as a nurse.
They brought up their four children in Sheffield, and to this day the whole family are keen Sheffield Wednesday football club supporters.
When their children left home, George and Mary downsized to Clown where George and his green fingers quickly filled the garden with fruit, vegetables and flowers, and the kitchen was filled with the smell of Mary’s freshly-baked cakes, especially her famous bakewell tart.
Now 96 and 93, the couple have a whopping 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren so they have many birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate throughout the year, as well as having marked their own golden, diamond and now platinum wedding anniversaries.
But for Mary, perhaps their most memorable anniversary was two years ago in 2014, when, only 68 years late, George surprised her with an engagement ring, having not been able to afford it in the austere post-war 1946.
70 years on, George revealed what the secret to a happy marriage is: “We have always been true to each other, haven’t we, Mary?”
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