"It went well for a blind date": Northampton couple celebrate golden wedding anniversary after 61 years together

Alan and Barbara have been married for 61 years.
Alan and Barbara have been married for 61 years.

A Northampton couple who have lived in the town their whole lives are celebrating their 61st wedding anniversary.

Alan and Barbara Phillips married on February 23 in 1957 and have been together ever since.

The Kingsthorpe couple met after a blind date set up by their friends in 1955 - and both say even from the start they "hit it off" straight away.

Alan, 89, said: "I'm very lucky to have met a girl like that.

"I was the last of my friends to get a girlfriend, so I just sort of went along and hoped for the best. As far as blind dates go we hit the nail on the head."

Barbara, 82, said: "He was a very gentle sort of person. We went to the pictures at the old Savoy Cinema in Abington Square and saw Paris in Spring. Well, we just clicked."

The couple married two years later at Kingsthorpe Baptist Church with "rain, snow and sunshine" all on the same day.

Alan worked for 17 years as a painter and decorator and became a paint salesman later on, while Barbara worked for 22 years at Barclaycard.

In 1988, Alan had a quadruple heart bypass. Doctors told him to "enjoy the next 10 years" - but daughter Donna Timms says he's still going strong 30 years later.

Today, Barbara and Alan live together in the Acre Lane estate, Kingsthorpe, and have had two daughters, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They are active members of the same church they married at, Kingsthorpe Baptist Church, and say there is "always a friend at church".

And the couple have the same answer when asked what's the secret to a long and happy marriage.

Barbara said: "We never argue. We can have our difference in opinion but we've never argued all these years. It's just about give-and-take."

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