A couple who spent their honeymoon sheltering from air raids are celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary.
Henry and Joyce Hodgson marked the remarkable milestone on Tuesday, August 8 with a champagne lunch and a bouquet of flowers at Springhill Care Home in Accrington, where they live together.
Paige Smith-Phelps, activities team leader at the care home, said they are known there as ‘the King and Queen’ because of their long marriage.
She said: “It is a first for a couple both living here together. They are over the moon, and still lovey-dovey. Henry said he still gets butterflies when he sees Joyce. I am getting married soon, and they are quite inspirational.”
The couple, who are Accrington born and bred, first met when Joyce was 16 while they were both attending a dance, but drifted apart shortly afterwards. However, they were reunited after they both began going to the same cafe on Sunday mornings and started courting again.
Henry, who was living on Buxton Street before they married, started work aged just 14 at Howard and Bullough as an engineer apprentice, and Joyce worked as an apprentice dressmaker.
Despite Henry being a Catholic and Joyce part of the Church of England, they married at St Andrew’s Church in Accrington in 1942, when Joyce was 18 and Henry was 26, and moved into their first house together at the end of Park Road.
Henry, 101, described how they had to honeymoon in Scarborough in the middle of the Second World War.
He said: “We couldn’t go on the beach because of the bomb raids.
“When the air raids started we stayed upstairs in bed instead of going down to the shelter.”
Joyce, 93, added that they were followed throughout their honeymoon by a stray ‘Westie’ terrier which they ended up having to take for walks.
As they celebrated the milestone, the couple reflected on the secret formula for staying happy together for the best part of a century.
Joyce said: “Don’t have any secrets and always meet each other half way, and always give and take with each other.”
They have a daughter, Valerie, a granddaughter Dawn, two great-grandchildren and two great, great-grandchildren.