Hull couples celebrate 60th wedding anniversary

Two west Hull couples tied the knot the same year Elvis Presley entered the United States charts for the first time with 'Heartbreak Hotel'. But rather than heartbreak, Bruce and Moira Bell and John and Maureen Gainey are celebrating their 60th year of wedded bliss.

A diamond wedding anniversary is a time for reflection, said Mrs Bell, who says it was five 'diamonds' and the twinkle in her partner's eye that changed her life forever.

DIAMOND COUPLE: Bruce and Moira Bell are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

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There were five stones that appeared to be diamonds set in Mrs Bell's engagement ring that represented the words 'Will You Marry Me Soon,' she remembered.

Mrs Bell, a retired auxiliary nurse, said: "In my eyes, it was diamonds."

She met her husband, a retired electrician, when she was 16 at a now-long-forgotten cinema on a Sunday night in Hull with her cousin, a typical occurrence for youngsters in the area.

"Bruce used to throw sweet wrappers at me," said Mrs Bell, 80.

That got Mrs Bell's attention, and the two began to take weekly strolls through East Park after the film ended.

Mrs Bell said: "I thought he was quite handsome. We just hit it off really."

They dated for about two years before Mr Bell popped the question.

"I'll be going into the Army when I'm 21, so we ought to get married," is how Mrs Bell remembered the proposal. She told him she would have to ask her mum, who ultimately gave her blessing.

The Bells were married two years later on September 15, 1956, at St. Giles Church in Marfleet, east Hull, surrounded by family and friends.

Ms Bell, who is awaiting a congratulatory card from the Queen to mark their milestone, said: "I often wonder where the 60 years have gone."

Though the Bells typically celebrate their wedding anniversary in Turkey, they have decided to go in October on a Caribbean cruise with friends and spend a few days in Las Vegas, Mrs Bell said.

Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs Gainey first met at a pub in Beverley. She was 18, he was a 22-year-old airman from Cork, Ireland.

Now 83, Mr Gainey, a retired manager of a scaffolding company, said: "I fell for her straight away. She had plenty of confidence."

They married about five years later at St Vincent's Church, off Queens Road in west Hull.

Four children and six grandchildren later, Mr Gainey said the secret to their wedded bliss is congenial companionship.

Mr Gainey said: "We both more or less think the same. We never really argue. We easily agreed on lots of important things."

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