Wellingborough's Jim and Joyce celebrate 70 years of marriage

Jim and Joyce met when they were 16
Jim and Joyce met when they were 16

A couple who live in a Wellingborough care home have celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary.

Jim and Joyce Timms marked the milestone with a meal at their daughter Lesley's home before a surprise party at Dukes Court Care Home in Northampton Road.

They married in 1949

They married in 1949

The happy couple, both 93, and originally from Essex, met in 1942 when they were 16.

"My mum and dad went away for a weekend," said Joyce.

"Me and a girlfriend went to the local dance and when we came out we realised we'd missed the last bus home.

"We couldn't walk six miles home.

"Then these boys went past on their bikes and I said 'hey, how about a lift?'

"When we got home - and this shows the innocence of the time - I asked Jim if he wanted to come in for a cup of cocoa."

The pair spent four years apart because of the war but kept in touch by exchanging letters.

Jim was awarded a medal for bravery for bringing a wounded man from his Essex Regiment to safety during a battle in Holland.

Joyce was on anti-aircraft guns and after the war ended was positioned in various parts of the world.

"When the war finished there was nothing to shoot down, so they stationed us in Colchester," said Joyce.

"But that was boring and I volunteered to go to Egypt where I trained as a telephonist."

Joyce then worked in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

The couple were engaged on Epsom Derby day in 1948 and on the day of the following year's Grand National Jim and Joyce were married in St Chad's in Essex.

They spent their week-long honeymoon near Bournemouth.

"I remember it well," said Jim.

Lesley, who organised the surprise party, is their only daughter and Jim and Joyce also have a granddaughter, Nicola, and a great-granddaughter, Megan.

Jim and Joyce moved to Irchester after Lesley found teaching work in Bedford.