Belfast Telegraph

Whirlwind romance still going strong after 65 years

By Linda Stewart

A Co Antrim husband and wife celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary have revealed how their first meeting was a case of 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.

Portrush’s Tom and Pam Darcy, now both 89, celebrated with family and friends after they received a card from the Queen to mark the occasion.

The pair met in Wisbech in Cambridgeshire after Tom caught sight of a photo of Pam and began writing to her.

Pam said: “My sister Peggy was picking strawberries and Tom was with her at one row.

“I don’t know how it came about, but my sister showed him a photo of me and he said, ‘Do you think I could write to her?’”

The couple began corresponding and then met up when Pam came to visit her sister.

“My dad took me to my sister’s, so Tom came there and met my mum and my dad, Peggy’s husband and her children. It must have been an awfully daunting thing for him but it didn’t put him off,” Pam recalled.

The pair went to a dance at the Corn Exchange on their first date. “He walked me home and he said ‘look up there’ and I looked up and he kissed me. And that was my first kiss,” Pam said.

The couple were married eight months after meeting and later moved to Newry after Tom received a job offer. They eventually moved to Portrush and have been living there for 40 years.

Despite their happy marriage, the couple have suffered more than their fair share of tragedy, with the death of their eldest son Paul, who was killed on his bicycle, and the loss of baby Susan, who died within days of birth.

But Tom said they have had a very happy life apart from those tragedies and described his children Christopher and Ann as “two wonderful people”.

“It’s been nothing but nice all the way,” he said.

Pam, who will be celebrating her 90th birthday tomorrow, says she can’t explain the secret of their long marriage — because she doesn’t know.

“I didn’t know anything about him, but we just hit it off and that was it,” she said.

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