Happy couple still sparkling after 60 years

Above: Diamond wedding couple Geoff and Barbara Archer celebrate their big day. Picture by Richard Ponter 131147a.''Below: The blissful pair on their wedding day in 1953.

Above: Diamond wedding couple Geoff and Barbara Archer celebrate their big day. Picture by Richard Ponter 131147a.''Below: The blissful pair on their wedding day in 1953.

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They met as teenagers when they worked together at Scarborough’s historic printing firm, ETW Dennis.

Now, more than 60 years later, Barbara and Geoff Archer remain inseparable as they celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

Picture copy Geoff and Barbara Archer.

Picture copy Geoff and Barbara Archer.

It was love at first site in 1951, when Geoff, an apprentice compositor, laid eyes on Barbara, who worked in the director’s office.

Two years later, the couple, who both moved to Scarborough with their families, got married on a snowy day at Albermarle Baptist Church.

Geoff, 81, said: “For our honeymoon we hired a car and toured the south of England.”

However, they were together for just three months when Geoff was called up for National Service and posted abroad to a military hospital in Japan, near Hiroshima.

Barbara, 79, said: “He was away for over 18 months and it was very difficult as we didn’t really have any way of contacting each other. It’s not like today when you can video call. We had to write letters and Geoff is not a good letter writer!”

While Geoff was overseas, Barbara was able to save up and eventually they bought the Glen Hotel, which is now the Park Manor Hotel, in Northstead Manor Drive.

They ran the hotel together for 17 years while Geoff also continued his work in the printing industry, which included a decade at the Scarborough Evening News, as well a stint at the Pindar group and a period owning his own business.

The pair went on to buy a property in Belvedere Road, where they ran holiday flats for many years.

Meanwhile, the pair enjoyed a busy social life, with Geoff enjoying terms as president, chairman and secretary of the Scarborough Lions and Barbara being elected as president of the Business and Professional Women’s Club three times.

Currently they are members of the Scalby and Newby Twinning Association, which Geoff formerly chaired.

The couple have two sons and a daughter, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, who joined in with the celebrations.

They have put the secret of a successful marriage down to love and respect.

Barbara said: “For a start you need a lot of love. If you are not in love, you are never going to make it. You need a lot of tolerance. You go through life and you have only got that one person who is always there for you. Look after each other all the way as there are all kinds of things that you will go through.”

The pair received a congratulatory telegraph from the Queen, who Barbara met and chatted to when Her Majesty visited York Minster in 1973.

They celebrated the 60-year matrimonial milestone on a three-week eastern Mediterranean cruise.