After 75 years of marital bliss, a young-at-heart couple has just renewed their wedding vows. Theirs is indeed a true love story. The couple first laid eyes on each other at a village dance and fell in love—and the pair have been in love ever since. Irene was just 19 and Jim Richardson a year older when they married on April 12, 1944—after Jim proposed to Irene on a local bike ride in the woods.
To celebrate 75 years together, the couple renewed their wedding vows on their 75th anniversary this year, at the same church, St. Michael’s CE Church in Lancashire, United Kingdom, where they tied the knot all those years ago during World War II.
The two regrets Jim had on his wedding day were that he had failed to thank his late mother during the groom’s speech and that he had also wanted to walk out of the church to “The Wedding March” (also known as “Here Comes the Bride”) but did not do so.
Their granddaughter Sandra Taylor, 52, organized the wedding vow renewal and made sure her grandfather’s wishes were fulfilled.
“I asked to put in the prayers to thank his mom for everything she did for him while she was alive,” Sandra said, according to The Metro.
Jim and Irene took their places in the church exactly where they had stood 75 years ago, and even the timing was perfect—2 p.m.—the same as when they got married. This time, they were joined by the couple’s four children, Rosemary, James, Jennifer, and Peter, the eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
“It went amazingly. We got photographs of them leaving the front door,” Sandra said. “They were very excited about it. The blessing was just lovely.” Irene had selected a favorite hymn, “All Thing Bright and Beautiful,” to be sung during the service, and Jim got his wish as the couple walked out of the church to “The Wedding March,” surrounded by family and friends.
— LADbible (@ladbible) April 23, 2019
Alluding to their long marriage, Jim said, “I would do it all again. I’m proud of every member of my family.” Irene was just as excited as her husband. “You can always go to one another with your troubles. It has been a lovely life,” she said.
Jim and Irene, now retired farmers living in a bungalow at St. Michael’s on Wyre, are very independent and take care of each other with a little bit of help from the family. “Grandad still drives. I take him to the supermarket for shopping once a week,” Sandra said, according to the Daily Mail.
“That’s all we are allowed to do. They are very independent,” she added. The couple still tend their half-acre garden, and Irene is a talented flower arranger and cake decorator.
Couple renew wedding vows after 75 years https://t.co/oKVsQS49fE
— BBC News England (@BBCEngland) April 25, 2019
The couple first set up a house together at Plane Tree Farm at Sowerby in 1947 and remained there until 1963, when they moved to Cross Hill Farm, at Treales, before retiring from farming in 1970.
Irene had a very unusual job when she was younger. Blackpool’s big wheel had been dismantled in March 1929, with one of the gondolas taken to St. Michael’s on Wyre and attached to the side of a house, and still is today; it was turned into a cafe. “Grandma worked there when she was younger and also worked at the Rivermead Hotel in St. Michael’s,” Sandra said.
Jim had worked as a mini-bus driver at Top Rank Services at Forton and later for Lancashire County Council, where his role included driving a snowplough.
Most of us might be wondering, “Do they have any secret for their long and happy life together?”
Their granddaughter thinks so. “Compromise. They love each other very much and they do talk about things. I think it’s routine—they know what they are going to be doing,” said Sandra. “Certainly that’s to do with their longevity. They said that there is no secret to a happy, long marriage, just take each day as it comes.”
So on April 12, 2019, cake and champagne were the order of the evening, and with friends and family helping them celebrate, Irene and Jim indeed had the fairytale happily-ever-after marriage.