Formula to a happy and long marriage

On July 29 1946, 19-year-old Peggy Sanderson Wilson walked down the aisle to join hands with her husband-to-be, Peter Laverie, 22.

Friday, 8th July 2016, 11:30 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:11 pm
Peter and Peggy Laverie celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary

Wearing a gown of pure white silk and carrying a bouquet of roses, the blushing bride was the shining star of the show.

Now, 70 years on, the couple remains closer than ever as they celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary.

The pair met at a social club in Urmston, Manchester, in the midst of the Second World War.

Peter and Peggy Laverie celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

Peggy worked in the shipping industry, while war veteran Peter fought against the Italian invasion of Egypt in 1943 before retraining as a school teacher.

After years of holidaying in Blackpool, the couple retired to the resort they loved 30 years ago, and are now both residents of Westholme Care Home on Victoria Street, St Annes.

Their daughter Janice Worswick, 64, said: “From the age of 60 they had a caravan in Blackpool. They loved living here and going for walks along the beach.

“They always said they would never move back to Manchester - and who could blame them!

Peter and Peggy Laverie celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

“They used to look after my daughter Sharon, who has special needs, and take her out to go cycling.

“My mum’s memory isn’t what it used to be but my dad is all right - he was just pining for her. They have a lot in common. They love the same things, they love nature and liked to keep fit.”

Westholme Care Home manager Ashley Bown said: “They are a very loving couple. They are very affectionate and happy. They haven’t been with us very long. Peter was in hospital for a while which is how Peggy came to be with us, and we were counting down the days until he was allowed to come out.

“It’s nice to have a happy couple here. I have worked here for five years and I don’t think we’ve ever had a married couple. They’re definitely the longest-married couple we’ve ever known.”

And the secret to a long and happy marriage?

Proud great-grandad Peter joked: “Arguing – and never winning!”

Get the facts: the world’s longest - and shortest - marriages

• The record for the world’s longest-married couple goes to Karam and Kartari Chand, who are aged 111 and 104 and still living happily in Bradford. They celebrated their 90th wedding anniversary in December last year, and proudly maintained that in all that time they had never once argued.

• Second place is awarded to Indian couple Philipose and Sosamma Thomas, who were married for 88 years.

• Third place goes to American lovebirds Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher, who were married for 86 years.

• Meanwhile, superstar Britney Spears married her childhood friend Jason Alexander in a Las Vegas wedding chapel in 2004 - and filed for divorce just two days later.