There was nobody else for Stan and Grace
Still holding hands after 75 years, the bond between Stan and Grace Pacey is as strong as ever.
On Sunday, a day before their landmark anniversary, the couple were surrounded by their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as they enjoyed a quiet family lunch at the Waterton Arms in Deeping St James.
And the following day well-wishers came pouring into the family home in High Street, Maxey to deliver cards and congratulate Stan and Grace on reaching the incredible milestone.
And to think it all began with a Sunday walk with a couple of friends when Stan (94) was still a teenage lad.
“I started chatting this young lady up with her friend,” he said, “but she told me to clear off because I was not old enough. But I persisted.”
As Grace (95) recalled, this young butcher was not going to let go as he took on a new strategy by befriending her family, starting with her brother Tom who he worked alongside for nine months at the brickworks.
Grace said: “He joined the cycle club with my brother. He got to know my mother and father. He was always there.”
Stan’s persistence worked, though, and the couple got married and had two children before Stan went to Burma and India during the Second World War where he was a cook and bucher.
He said: “I found it very interesting. There were only about 140 of us but we mucked in and helped each other.”
Stan was originally from Whittlesey and Grace from Coates, with the couple getting married at St Mary’s Church in 1941.
After the war, workaholic Stan, who was a butcher in New England, set up as a greengrocer in Lincoln Road, Walton - where he went round in a mobile van - and also worked at Perkins and in gardening.
The couple loved their sequence dancing at Crowland Dance Club, while Grace was into her yoga and Stan was a footballer in the old Thursday League.
Such is their longevity as a married couple - which is nearly 12 years shy of the world record - Stan and Grace now have four cards from the Queen and a lifetime of great memories.
Clutching the hands of his wife, Stan said: “There was no-one else. I’m lost without her. We’ve done very well and I would not change it.”
Grace said: “We’ve both got a sense on humour.”
The couple’s three children are Terry, Barbara and Janet. Barbara said: “They have been absolutely amazing. They have done everything together.
“They have always sat and talked and if there was a problem they always shared it and sorted it out.
“Dad is very protective with my mum. He likes to be with her all the time. They just won’t walk down the street without holding hands.”