“I AM still in love with her as much today as I was when we first met,” says one half of a golden couple celebrating their 50 year anniversary today
Ann and Gerald Shipley, who have lived in their home of Green Street, Burton, for 50 years, knew they were meant to be just two months after they first met.
Gerald, known as Gerry who turns 75 on Tuesday, said: “My friend asked me if I wanted to take a girl to a dance at Burton Town Hall, and I said it was my works, but eventually I gave in.
“We just hit it off. The rest of the night we were asking our friends what each other had said about the other.”
72-year-old Ann added: “To this day, he always says I still owe him £1 he paid for my taxi back home that night.”
Gerry proposed on one knee just two months later, in December 1962, at Ann’s cousin’s home.
He said: “We both knew how we felt about each other.”
They married at Barton’s St James’ Church, and later welcomed daughter Sharon, now 49, followed by Donna, 47, and Melvin.
They also have five grandchildren.
Ann was born and lived in Branston, and left school at 15 to make slipper boxes at the Box Factory, in Burton Road, Branston. After her wedding she had a part time job working at the Co-op, in High Street, Burton.
Gerry was born in Stapenhill three months after his father sadly died from pneumonia.
A two-year stint in the airforce saw him based in Middlesex, before he spent the last 32 years of his working life at Allied Breweries, where at one point he was in charge of 39 female cleaners.
Unfortunately, two heart attacks sent him to early retirement aged 59.
Ann loves gardening, and the pair also ran the famous Muddy River Country Music Club at Belvedere Park Club for 17 years enticing big acts from America to perform.
Ann was named Bass Museum Burtonian of the Year 1998 for her work in the Multiple Sclerosis Society Burton and District Branch for 34 years.
Ann said: “We never really have any fallouts. We look after each other and never argue. We just love one another.”
“We have got some great friends and children and grandchildren.”