Chance encounter led to lifetime of love for Corby couple

Andy and Ann Mullen married in St Andrew's Church, Occupation Road Corby
Andy and Ann Mullen married in St Andrew's Church, Occupation Road Corby

A chance encounter and eyes meeting across a dance floor led to a lifetime of love for a Corby couple.

When 15-year-old Ann Mullen went to the bi-weekly dance at the Corby-Uppingham Boys’ Club, she caught a glimpse of a handsome young man recently demobbed from the RAF - Andy Mullen, her future husband.

Andy and Ann Mullen

Andy and Ann Mullen

She said: “I saw this handsome man across the dance floor and I thought to myself - I’ll have that!”

But it was Andy who made the first move.

Andy had just returned from Germany where he had spent his two-year National Service.

Although Ann’s parents thought at 20 Andy was too old for their daughter, the pair became an item a year later, got engaged a year after that and finally married when she was 18.

Ann and Andy Mullen - 65th wedding anniversary, Married in Corby July 24th 1954 NNL-190722-132119005

Ann and Andy Mullen - 65th wedding anniversary, Married in Corby July 24th 1954 NNL-190722-132119005

Andy, now 88, and 83-year-old Ann will celebrate their ‘blue sapphire’ wedding anniversary today (Wednesday, July 24), after 65 years of marriage.

Ann remembered: “We got married at The Church of Scotland on Occupation Road at midday.

“It was a beautiful day and we had our reception in the Raven Ballroom on Rockingham Road - people danced until midnight but we’d already left for our honeymoon near Margate.”

After tying the knot, Ann moved from her parents’ house in Studfall Avenue to set up home with Andy in Eskdale Avenue where they had their three children; Sandra, Andy and Sharon.

Ann and Andy Mullen - 65th wedding anniversary, Married in Corby July 24th 1954 NNL-190722-132109005

Ann and Andy Mullen - 65th wedding anniversary, Married in Corby July 24th 1954 NNL-190722-132109005

Andy was working for Stewarts & Lloyds in the dragline quarries, but it was his first aid qualifications which led to his next career choice.

Ann explained: “Andy had been working on the huge draglines in the quarries. They were massive - so big you could fit a double-decker bus in the scoop.

“But he had also been a first aider and as we lived near the ambulance station he fancied working on the ambulances so that’s what he did.”

Ann meanwhile worked in the Studfall Post Office and shop, then Fosters Menswear in the town centre, finally finishing up at Dorothy Perkins.

Ann and Andy Mullen - 65th wedding anniversary, Married in Corby July 24th 1954 NNL-190722-132059005

Ann and Andy Mullen - 65th wedding anniversary, Married in Corby July 24th 1954 NNL-190722-132059005

Retirement allowed the couple to follow their passion for travel with multiple cruises around the Mediterranean.

With nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren Ann and Andy have a large happy family.

Ann, who has been nursing Andy with help from carers, added: “I’ve got no regrets. We had holidays abroad and lots of cruises and we’ve had a nice, happy life.

“We’ve had our ups and downs but we’ve always been there for each other.

“We’ve got great family and friends.”

Ann and Andy Mullen - 65th wedding anniversary, Married in Corby July 24th 1954 NNL-190722-132129005

Ann and Andy Mullen - 65th wedding anniversary, Married in Corby July 24th 1954 NNL-190722-132129005