John and Pat celebrate 50 golden years

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A COUPLE who have lived in the Bourne area all their lives celebrate fifty years of marriage today.

Retired woodcutter John Clark, 71, and his wife Pat, 68, of West Road, Haconby, will mark their golden wedding anniversary with a barbecue and garden party with family and friends at home this afternoon.

Pat, who was born in the house next to the church in Haconby - the village where she currently lives - said: “I was living in Bourne at the Angel Hotel and working as a children’s nanny at the time when I met John.”

John wooed Pat at the picture house in Bourne, which has since shut down, and a year-and-a-half later they married at Bourne Register Office, in West Street, on May 20, 1961.

Pat said they started going out and the rest is history.

She said: “He was fun and had a very good sense of humour, which is what attracted me to him.

“We liked the same things in life and enjoyed going out together, before settling down.”

John and Pat have four children – Debbie, 50, Paul, 46, David, 43 and Marie, 35.

They also have two grandchildren and five step-grandchildren.

Most of their time revolves around their eldest son Paul who has learning difficulties.

Pat, whose maiden name was Wand, said: “Paul is our main priority in life.

“He is handicapped which means he needs constant care.

“We haven’t done a lot over the years because we have to look after him - but he is a joy to look after.”

The couple get a bit of time together when Paul attends a day care centre in Recreation Road, Bourne.

This is a home which has been rented for the sole purpose of carers providing support to just a few people.

Pat has had her own health troubles after battling mouth cancer, which she was diagnosed with last year.

But she is looking on the bright side and said: “I’m still having check-ups and am still recovering, but I’m doing okay and looking forward to our celebrations.

“We are just getting prepared for it now. We’ve got about 55 people coming to celebrate with us.”

When asked what the secret to a long-standing and successful marriage is, Pat added: “Working at everything together is the secret, as well as making the most of each other and life.”