Valentine's Day: Eston couples with combined 186 years of marriage on a successful union

Jennie Henry went to find out the secret to a long and happy marriage

Having an argument is fine - but getting it out the way and moving on is what has kept one Teesside husband and wife together for 62 years.

Eric and Letitia 'Letty' Blake met as teenagers and tied the knot at 20.

Now, more than six decades on, they still only have eyes for each other.

"I love her so much, she has no idea," said Eric. "Even after 64 years. I'm getting a lump in my throat again now. I just wish everybody could have a marriage like mine."

The Blakes were one of three couples to be thrown a surprise party on Valentine's Day at their Eston care home.

Pic of Letty and Eric's wedding album Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Fellow Astune Rise residents, Anne and Norman Bailes and Alan and Dorothy Humphreys were also the guests of honour.

All in their 80s and 90s, the three pairs of lovebirds have an impressive combined 186 years of marriage.

The Blakes married on 6 May 1961, the Bailes wed on 15 October 1964, but married for the longest are the Humphreys who celebrate their 66th anniversary on 1 March.

Alan and Dorothy met at work - him "upstairs in the office" and Dorothy "downstairs typing".

Reflecting on their marriage, Dorothy said: "We've been together 62 years and I've had a wonderful, wonderful life."

Dorothy and Alan Humphreys are 'definitely' still very much in love. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

For care home manager Caroline Bowstead it only seemed right that these couples' achievements should be recognised on Valentine's Day.

The celebration itself was a combined effort, made possible via social media and by their local community who donated decorations and cakes.

"I think it's so special that today (Wednesday) we're able to show them how important their marriage is, you know, their worth within the community really," said Caroline.

She added: "Everybody, I think, recognises that we've got these amazing couples living in a small care home in Eston."

Norman and Anne Bailes tied the knot in October 1964. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

After a lifetime of marriage, Eric was happy to pass on some advice for a successful union.

"That's the secret of a long marriage - having an argument and getting it out of the way," he said.

On the same page was wife Letty, who agreed, adding: "Put that argument at rest before you might face another day."

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