Sunday, 24 Oct 2021

Pensioners celebrate 59th wedding anniversary on Covid ward

Two RAF veterans have celebrated 59 years of marriage while battling coronavirus in hospital.

For the last four weeks Brian and Margaret Speckman have been recovering on a Covid ward together in north Yorkshire.

The couple were admitted to Stockton’s University Hospital of North Tees and said it’s been ‘like a bad dream’.

Margaret, 77, said: ‘I had called the ambulance service because I was concerned for Brian and he was rushed in to hospital.

‘Shortly after, another crew admitted me into hospital as well, so we both ended up Covid-positive and in North Tees.

‘From then on it was like a bad dream, but the staff have really been amazing and did their utmost to get myself and Brian onto the same ward.

‘We are so grateful for what everyone has done to care for us. We have definitely had some hiccups along the way, but are looking forward to making it back home in the very near future.’

Yesterday, to mark their 59th wedding anniversary, the ‘soulmates’ from from Peterlee in County Durham tucked into a special cake and card from their hospital carers.

They met on April Fool’s Day 1961, when Brian was posted at RAF Wattisham in Suffolk.

Brian, 83, said it was ‘the best posting ever – I met the love of my life’.

Explaining how they first came to meet, he said: ‘While waiting for the bus back to camp I saw this lovely young lady and plucked up the courage to ask her out on a date.

‘It was then I realised that the bus stop was outside of Woolworths. Since then I have always called Margaret “The Wonder of Woolies”.’

Three months later Margaret joined the Women’s Auxiliary Flying Squadron, but just after they got engaged, they learnt that Brian was going to be stationed in Malta for three years.

The couple went seven months without seeing each other, before tying the knot the next year.

They went on to have two daughters, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Margaret said: ‘We had to make the best of our moments together, but we still managed to get married on September 22 1962.

‘We have had a lovely life together as husband and wife.

‘We have had our ups and downs, but we are so proud of what we have achieved during our 59 years together.’

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