Herefordshire care home couple celebrate 70th anniversary with surprise

A couple in a Herefordshire care home were surprised with a special party to celebrate their 70th anniversary.

Wally and Marge Cole, who both live at Leominster Bupa Care Home, in Bargates, Leominster, were recently surprised by the home's team with a tea party to celebrate their Platinum Wedding anniversary.

Mr Cole, 92, first met Mrs Cole when they were both working for the Royal Air Force at Kiddington in Oxfordshire in the 1950s.

"Wally and I didn't experience love at first sight – in fact Wally was a pest at times, constantly coming into my office to try and chat to me! After 70 years of happiness, I'm so glad he persisted," said Mrs Cole.

Having courted for two years, the pair got married in 1952 at Church of the Holy Spirit in Balham, London. While working as a secretary and store manager, the couple soon embarked on family life with the birth of their two daughters.

"Alongside raising our wonderful family, some of my favourite memories with Marge include travelling around the world together. We've visited New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada just to name a few," said Mr Cole.

When asked what has helped make their 70 years of marriage a success, Mr and Mrs Cole said: "Tolerance is the most important thing. Trying to understand the other person's point of view makes a big difference."

Organised by Nicky Cloake, the care home administrator, and Viv Jaine, the care home's senior activities co-ordinator, the celebrations saw the pair enjoy an afternoon tea with their daughter Elaine.

They had fairy cakes and a coffee cake decorated with fresh flowers from the couple's garden, paired with a glass of fizz.

Mrs Cole, aged 90 years old, said: "It was such a wonderful surprise! We had no clue the team were planning anything so to be so spoilt was such a treat."

Viv Jaine said: "Wally and Marge's love is an absolute inspiration, and we feel very privileged that we could make their wedding anniversary such a special one. We love going above and beyond for our residents, so it was really touching to see how much the day meant to them both."

Since moving to Leominster Bupa Care Home three months ago, Mrs Cole has enjoyed taking part in painting and gardening activities, while Mr Cole has enjoyed playing bowls with his fellow residents.

"We've shared many wonderful adventures over the course of our 70 years together and we don't plan to stop now. We look forward to what the future holds and can't wait to make more memories together," said the couple.