Exmouth couple mark 60 years of wedded bliss

PUBLISHED: 10:08 04 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:08 04 February 2019

Barry and Shirley Dawson celebrating 60 years of wedded bliss. Picture: Kimberly Rainford

Barry and Shirley Dawson celebrating 60 years of wedded bliss. Picture: Kimberly Rainford

Archant

A couple who celebrated 60 years of wedded bliss have said there is no ‘magic formula’ to a long-lasting marriage.

Shirley and Barry Dawson celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Picture: Kimberly RainfordShirley and Barry Dawson celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Picture: Kimberly Rainford

Barry and Shirley Dawson, of Elmfield Crescent, marked their diamond wedding anniversary with a carvery lunch at Ocean surrounded by nearly 50 friends and family.

The couple, who met at a dance at Exmouth Pavilion in 1957, had their special day 60 years ago featured on the front page of The Journal.

Shirley said: “There is no magic formula for reaching 60 years of marriage.

“It is not clever but luck that we have managed to live long enough.

“Many of our friends have unfortunately lost partners on the way.

“We are not going to say we never quarrel, it would not be true and I find it very difficult to imagine living with someone for so long and not doing so occasionally.”

Barry, born in Sheffield in 1925, came to Exeter during the blitz.

Having escaped the bombing in his home town, Shirley said he arrived in Devon just in time for the Exeter blitz in March 1942. He went on to serve in the RAF.

An avid sportsman, he once played for Exmouth Cricket Club while on leave from the air force and went on to become fixtures secretary for the club for six years – he is still involved with the club.

He also worked in the civil service in the office of social security in Exmouth until it relocated to Exeter.

Shirley had a short spell at Exmouth Grammar School and went on to work as a secretary at Bicton College and also had a short spell at Lloyds Bank in Budleigh Salterton.

After marrying in 1959, the couple lived in Madeira Villas and in the 1960s, Shirley began offering bed and breakfast and evening meals in Lawn Road and in 1967 the couple moved to Morton Road where they ran a guest house for 18 years.

They also had two holiday flats in St Andrew’s Road until 2005.

Shirley and Barry have two sons – Ray and Bobby – the later followed his dad’s love of cricket and has played professionally for Gloucestershire. Barry and Shirley also have three grandsons.

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