PFH - Secret to a happy marriage

The secret to 70 years of happy marriage? Being in love!

The secret to 70 years of happy marriage? Being in love!

As Walt and Dorothy Richardson celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary, they share the secret to a long and happy marriage with People First magazine…

It’s 74 years since they first locked eyes across the room at a dance at Beverley Road Baths, and the rest as they say is history. “We have always been in love and we still are now,” said Mr Richardson, aged 92. “We have travelled the world together, there are very few places we haven’t been to, apart from the Far East, we’ve had a wonderful life together.”

The happy couple married at St John’s Church, in Newland Avenue, on September 16th 1950. Mrs Richardson, aged 91, said: “We have just always been in love, Walt still plays the keyboard now while
I lay on the bed listening and singing along – he is a wonderful keyboard player and he used to play the organ at Christopher Pickering Lodge during afternoon tea in years gone by. We have always
been good friends and we have been blessed with four wonderful daughters – Annette, Catherine, Patricia and Caroline.”

The couple were some of the first residents to move into one of PFH’s bungalows at Walnut Tree Way, in west Hull, when it was a new build in 1992 – they have never looked back. They moved from Newland Avenue, after Mr Richardson’s triple and double heart bypasses meant he could no longer manage the stairs at their former home.

“We have seen all the lovely changes here over the years,” said Mrs Richardson. “We have been so well looked after, we have had new kitchens, windows, doors, and last week they even put a new number on our front door!”

Mr Richardson served in the Merchant Navy. “I was the last Skipper on the Yorkshireman,” he said. “I also went to Normandy on the second day of the invasion in June 1944. We had lost a brother at the beginning of the war and another brother had been shipwrecked, so my father stopped me from signing up for the navy and found me a job at Reckitts before he went off to serve in Normandy. I wasn’t enjoying my job, so I signed up for nautical training school without him knowing and eventually I was working on the troop ships taking them over to the beaches for the invasion. I looked all over for my father when I got there and when I tapped him on the shoulder, he couldn’t believe it. It was unbelievable really.”

In later years, Mr and Mrs Richardson have enjoyed their growing family, with the arrival of four grandchildren, Alex, James, Matthew and Lizzie. The couple recently became Great Grandparents for the first time to a baby girl called Mei.

“All of our daughters look after us very well, we don’t get out so much but they are very good to us,” said Mrs Richardson. “We are planning to have a small family get together to celebrate our wedding anniversary.”