Couple share their secret to a 60-year marriage

Alice and  Stuart Stirling at the door of their Longridge home on the day of their diamond wedding anniversary.
Alice and Stuart Stirling at the door of their Longridge home on the day of their diamond wedding anniversary.

“We started going out when we were 17 and 20 – it just happened, and since then, despite our ups and downs, we’ve had a very happy life!”

That was how octogenarians Stuart and Alice Stirling laughingly described their relationship on their diamond wedding anniversary day this month.

They married at St Peter’s Church, Stonyhurst, where Stuart’s father’s Longridge business looked after the college cars.

Alice was in service for a short time at its preparatory school.

During his two years from 1952 serving with REME in Egypt, the couple kept in touch by letter…but now they use Skype to contact their close family – three children, six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren both here and in Austrailia.

Health has been Alice’s area of work – with social services at the former Barnacre Road Children’s Home, then Whittingham and Ribchester hospitals, and finally the old Longridge Health Centre.

But health for Stuart has been a different story.

In 1969 he suffered serious injury to his left leg after a roof collapse, but following major surgery and specialist care over the years at Salford Royal Hospital, he was finally discharged from there just last month.

“So you see, we have had our ups and downs,” said Alice. “But family and friends have rallied round, we are so blessed with our children, we take knocks on board and just keep going!”