Platinum couple join a select few

Alf and Irene Peacock
Alf and Irene Peacock

A WARTIME romance is still going strong more than 70 years later.

Hartlepool couple Alf and Irene Peacock are celebrating their platinum wedding and are one of only a handful of couples to have reached the 70-year landmark.

Sadly Alf, 96, had a fall recently and is recovering at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton.

It is the first time the Hartlepool born-and-bred couple have been apart since Alf, who was the town’s superintendent registrar, was demobbed after the Second World War.

The couple’s son, Mike Peacock, 52, and his wife Anne, were due to visit Irene at her Foggy Furze home and Alf in hospital today, with relatives. Mike has also arranged for a card to be sent from The Queen.

Mike, a senior manager for BT, said: “They do think the world of each other.

“It is the first time they have really been apart and my mother really misses the fact my father is not there.

“I think the secret to their long marriage is that neither of them drank, or if they did it was only sherry at Christmas, both got plenty of exercise and they both liked long walks.

“I Googled how many couples actually make it to their 70th wedding anniversary and it’s a really small number for the entire UK.”

Irene, 96, who worked as a cashier at Binns, and Alf met through mutual friends just before the Second World War, when they both lived in the Elwick Road area. Irene, whose maiden name was Young, grew up in Osborne Road and Alf lived in Rydal Street.

They were married on June 6, 1942 at All Saints Church, Stranton, where Alf was to be the organist for around 50 years.

Mike said their wedding went smoothly, although the food for their reception was rationed during the conflict.

Alf worked in the clerk’s office at West Hartlepool Council before he was called up for service with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, serving in Sicily, Tunis and Brussels.

“He would come back and see my mother as often as he could,” said Mike.

They spent a short time living with Irene’s parents in Osborne Road before moving to Ventnor Avenue.

After they were married, the couple started a family and had their sons, Mike and the late David, who died in 2006, aged 53.

In 1961, they moved to their current home in the Foggy Furze area.

Alf continued working for the council after his war service and became the town’s superintendent registrar in the mid 1960s.

He is thought to have married more than 6,000 Hartlepool couples during his career.

The couple have two granddaughters, Rebecca and Ruth, and three great-grandchildren.