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.”

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