Couples at Northumberland Heath care home celebrate 246 years of marriage between them at Valentine’s Day dinner

PUBLISHED: 13:07 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:07 15 February 2018

John and Betty Abrahams celebrated 74 years of marriage. Picture: Heathfield Court care home

John and Betty Abrahams celebrated 74 years of marriage. Picture: Heathfield Court care home


Heathfield Court care home in Northumberland Heath helped four couples, who have notched up over 246 years of marriage between them, to celebrate in style on Valentine’s Day.

The Bexley couples also shared their pearls of wisdom on the secrets to maintaining a long and happy marriage.

The residents from the home, in Colyers Lane in Erith, were treated to a celebratory dinner complete with bubbly in the home’s private dining room, followed by an afternoon with love songs from local singer, Carly Winters.

The couple with the longest marriage of 74 years were John and Betty Abrahams.

Married in 1944, when John had received his commission in the RAF, they honeymooned in London during the Blitz – in a suite at a top hotel in the West End, which cost them 12 guineas for the week, which equates to around £12.60 today.

John’s advice for a long and happy marriage: “To love each other and never go to bed on an argument”.

John didn’t wait for Valentine’s Day – he would buy flowers or chocolates for Betty on his way home from work on a Friday evening.

He also regularly bought her beautiful handbags, cashmere and cat ornaments – which she still loves.

John added: “Nothing but the best for Betty”.

Also joining John and Betty were Dot and John Ferguson – the first residents at Heathfield Court when it opened last year.

They met when they were 16 and have been married for 66 years.

Dot said: “What keeps a marriage happy is give and take”.

Molly and Colin Papworth also joined in to celebrate their long-lasting love.

Having been married for 63 years, Molly said: “The secret to a happy marriage is to always solve arguments and never give up on one another”.

Lastly, Harry and Jean Handy, who have been married for 43 years, both agree that “the secret to a happy marriage is to laugh together.”

Home manager Janet Collings said: “It was lovely to have had the chance to make Valentine’s Day so special for our couples.

They all had a wonderful time, reminiscing and toasting each other.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Bexley Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Bexley Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Bexley Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Bexley news

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Cash-strapped Bexley schools have been writing to parents asking for money for supplies, according to a councillor.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford David Evennett was the guest of honour and speaker at an Armistice and Remembrance Commemoration held at the Bexleyheath Conservative Club on Sunday (November 11).

A father could have been under the influence of a cocktail of drugs when he fatally shook his 10-week-old daughter, a court heard.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Erith’s iconic Carnegie building will be open to the public for an exciting array of events before Christmas, prior to its official opening in February next year.

Monday, November 12, 2018

An innovative ‘magical table’ with the ability to transform the lives of people living with dementia has been installed at Heathfield Court care home in Northumberland Heath.

Monday, November 12, 2018

A dog who miraculously survived a freak accident after being rushed to Thamesmead Pet Hospital is up for a national award.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The big question on people’s minds on the morning of November 11, 1918, was whether or not the armistice had been signed and the fighting ended.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Jamie Brown, of Archant Local Impact, explains how to make your business stand out from the crowd

Most read news

Digital Edition

Read the Bexley Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Bexley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24