Hartlepool couple celebrate 65 years of wedded bliss

Betty and Harry with their seven children L to R - Kevin Abbott, Aly McClean, Billy Abbott, Christine McKenzie, Keith Abbott, Jacqueline Pearce and Geoff Abbott.
Betty and Harry with their seven children L to R - Kevin Abbott, Aly McClean, Billy Abbott, Christine McKenzie, Keith Abbott, Jacqueline Pearce and Geoff Abbott.

HARTLEPOOL couple Betty and Harry Abbott clock up 65 years of married bliss today.

Betty, 83, and Harry, 85, of Dyke House, will celebrate their anniversary with their brood of seven children, 12 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and three great, great grandchildren.

Harry and Betty Abbot's anniversary cake shows them in their younger days, complete with dog Bess.

Harry and Betty Abbot's anniversary cake shows them in their younger days, complete with dog Bess.

The couple will celebrate their blue sapphire wedding anniversary with a romantic trip to Scotland, followed by a family celebration at their favourite venue – the local Catholic club.

Speaking about her soulmate, Betty said: “We have had many ups and downs, lots of tears but plenty of laughter – and although we do have crossed words from time to time, Harry has been my life since I was a young girl and I have had a very happy life with my husband and fantastic family by my side.”

Meeting in 1948 at The Queens Rink in Hartlepool, Betty and Harry’s relationship did not begin conventionally.

Both were courting other people when they secretly fell for each other and they went on to get married on March, 18 1950 at St Oswald’s church.

From carrying her shoes home after a long night at the dance hall, we were inseparable from then onwards.

Betty worked as a seamstress for Prices Tailors, while Harry was a serving member of the Public Service.

They welcomed their first of two sets of twins into the world in 1952.

For Harry, it was love at first sight: “Betty was a fantastic dancer, one of the best,” he said.

“Her fun personality and lovely blue eyes drew me in straight away.

“From carrying her shoes home after a long night at the dance hall, we were inseparable from then onwards.”

With five generations of girls, Betty and Harry have a large extended family which continues to grow. Despite their health problems over the years, they can still be found sitting in the same seats every Saturday night at the Rift House Catholic club with Betty’s famous Pek and cheese sandwiches.

Daughter Jacqueline Pearce, 53, said: “My mam and dad still act like they are in their twenties.

“Whether it’s a disco, karaoke or a Sunday session in the club, they are guaranteed to be there joining in with the fun.”

Harry recently faced a health scare after collapsing at home following an Armistice Day tribute service.

“Harry’s scare has made us realise that every day counts from now on and we still have so much to do, starting with our trip away to Scotland to remember why we got married all of those years ago,” said Betty.