When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
The secret of our 70-year-marriage? A Baileys in the morning
12:00pm Thursday 11th October 2012 in News
A DORSET couple say a small tipple with their coffee in the morning is the secret to their happy and long-lasting 70-year marriage.
Eric and Gladys Birr celebrated their momentous platinum wedding anniversary yesterday by enjoying a special lunch at Les Bouviers in Wimborne with their son Malcolm and his wife Lynne, before a luxury overnight stay, which was a surprise present.
The couple met when Gladys was working for Eric’s father’s tailoring business in London a year before the Second World War broke out.
Eric, who was a Lance Corporal in the Royal Signals, was posted to France during World War Two, returning before Dunkirk and sent back across the Channel 10 days after the D-day landings.
During the war the soldier was also a driver for Air Chief Marshall, Sir Hugh Dowding, one of the masterminds behind the Battle of Britain victory in 1940.
After 1945, the couple, who have one son and a grandson, Phillip, left London and went to live in Leicester, where Eric went into the tailoring business before the couple ventured into the pub trade.
They provided relief for other landlords and landladies and in total looked after 42 pubs during their 18 years in the trade.
As part and parcel of the job, the family lived all over the country before Eric, now 91-years-old, became a telephonist for the General Post Office as it was then known.
Gladys dedicated a large proportion of her life to volunteer work and helped at Barnardo’s for more than 20 years until she was 84 years old, as well as volunteering for a spell at Cancer Research.
Eric and Gladys lived in Ferndown for six years before they moved to North Wales 14 years ago.
They have just returned to Wimborne to be closer to their family.
Gladys, 90, said: “We like a Baileys in the morning with our coffee and then a sherry in the afternoon. We’re still very much in love.”