60 years and going strong! Sidmouth couple celebrate a marriage more precious than a diamond…
PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 January 2020
Some say that nothing shines quite as brightly as a diamond, yet for a certain couple from Sidford, their 60 years of marriage can be considered more precious than a diamond.
Ian and Ann Skinner, who have lived in the Sid Valley for more than 40 years, began 2020 with a special 60th wedding anniversary celebration at the Bedford Hotel in Sidmouth.
The couple, who have four children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, marked the occasion in the company of close friends, long-term neighbours and family members. Ann and Ian's son, Rob Skinner, gave a lovely speech, which was followed by a champagne toast and cake, made by their daughter Sarah Robinson.
Incredibly active members of the community and St Francis Church, Woolbrook, Ian and Ann are well-known for their charity efforts. Ian, a worthy recipient of the Sidmouth Citizen of the Year award 2018, was the driving force in the development of the Sid Valley Food Bank and has been president of the Lions Club of Sidmouth several times. Similarly, Ann is incredibly pro-active in the community, especially with the local playgroups.
They met in the late 50s, when Ian was serving in the Army as a national serviceman in Bullford Camp on Salisbury Plain, whilst Ann Gage, the future Mrs Skinner, was working as a nurse at Salisbury hospital.
Their paths crossed at a special dance event arranged especially for military personnel and local nurses at the Castle Hotel in Salisbury. It soon transpired there was a clear mutual attraction between them and, shortly after, they were married.
They wed right at the beginning of 1960 on January, 2 in the same church as Ann's parents - St Marks Church in Salisbury.
Fast forward sixty years and the couple have just celebrated their long marriage at the Bedford Hotel on January 4, 2020. In response to the question, 'What is the secret to a long happy marriage?', Ann said: "Lots of give and take". In reply to this, Ian answered: "I agree!"