Ottery couple celebrate 70 years of marriage

A couple who are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary say the secret to a long marriage is never sleep on an argument.

David and Irene Hayes have been married for 70 years this month, and claim to have never had a falling out.

The couple met during the Second World War, and brought up a family in Yorkshire before retiring to Ottery in 1986.

Irene, 89, grew up in a village outside Harrogate, Yorkshire, and was working at a factory in Guiseley in 1941 when she was asked by a colleague to accompany her on a double date.

There she met David, now 92, born in London but stationed in army barracks nearby.


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He had just turned 21, and Irene was 19, and the couple have been together ever since that very fist meeting.

They were married the following year, but David had to return to the army the day after, so they didn’t have a honeymoon until after the war.

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They moved to Westminster in 1946, but moved up north several years later where they brought up their two daughters, Pauline and Susan.

After moving to Ottery St Mary they were founder members of both the short mat and outdoor bowls club, and now have three grandchildren.

Speaking about their 70 years together, Irene said: “I don’t know where it has all gone.”

She said they believed if you had a disagreement you should never leave it until tomorrow.

The couple’s daughter Susan added: “They are so devoted to each other. They never argue, they just get on with each other.”

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