Love is in the air at a Sanctuary Care home this week as happy couple Sidney and Peggy Hales will be celebrating 70 years of wedded bliss with fellow residents, friends and family.
Platinum wedding anniversary
The madly-in-love couple, Sid, 91, and Peggy, 90, who is a resident at Wantage Nursing Home in Oxfordshire will be celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary in style – adding another proud moment to their chapter-bursting life story.
Where it all began?
The loved-up pair’s paths crossed when they met in Wood Green, North London where they were both working at the local greengrocers.
In Peggy’s case she was busy working under strict instruction from her father – the diligent duo were armed with a van, an old set of brass scales and a big bell to draw all the punters in. Meanwhile, young lad Sidney used to help where he could by pulling a cart round to collect produce when more supplies were needed – from the first day they met Sidney was always finding ways to help Peggy.
Wasn’t love at first sight?
It didn’t take long until the soon-to-be courting coupler became more than colleagues but firm friends. Not being the stereotypical love at first sight story, Sidney and Peggy were originally courting other people until they finally came together to start their very own love story.
Sidney remembers: “It’s funny looking back at how it all started. We weren’t originally courting but somehow, magically, we ended up together and I was so pleased – my Peggy is the best I could find.”
Courting during wartime
Having finally found love the new couple courted as often as they could between wartime responsibilities with Sidney, who was in the Royal Navy working as an engineer to repair damaged destroyers. While Peggy was also busy supporting the troops by making wireless sets needed for machinery.
Reminiscing back to when the pair could find time to court during wartime, Sidney continued: “At the beginning of the war we use to buy sixpenny evening tourist tickets to ride on the trams but one day we missed the last bus from Finchley and had to walk three miles home. By the time I managed to get Peggy home, her father was standing on the corner and shouted ‘Is that you Peggy? Get inside!!’ – he was far from impressed.”
However, the young couple never gave up on their love and managed to find time to marry in a daytime ceremony in Edmonton, North London 70 years ago on Saturday 10 February 1945.
Secrets to happy marriage
When asked what their secrets to a long lasting and happy marriage, Sidney added: “It’s difficult to pin down, I suppose it’s mainly to do with give and take and having great fun together.
“We have always been compatible for one another – it’s always felt right, we were always happy for each other to have our own interests which is really important! We have never needed to be in each other’s pockets and that’s why we work.
“A great example was when we went to the beach with our dear friends Cliff and Gwen – while Peggy would sunbathe and listen to the cricket with Cliff, I would go rock pooling with Gwen.”
Two children later
Their love story continued to go from strength to strength after the couple moved to Hornsey, North London once the war was over to raise their two children, Sylvia, 69, and Ken, 65.
Soon after their bundles of joys moved on to start their own adventures, Sidney and Peggy relocated to Southgate, North London where they lived for many years. As the years rolled by, both decided to enjoy their retirement years in a bungalow in Grove to be near their daughter.
70 years on
Now 70 years on, their wonderful family has blossomed to three generations – including five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Wendy Pill, Sanctuary Care’s activities assistant, said of the couple: “Sidney and Peggy are such a close and loving couple and a true example of devotion.
“They are so completely dedicated to one another, they look at each other with true love in their eyes and every time Sidney visits Peggy lights up – she adores him.”