A special celebration for a platinum couple!

Frank and Pat Johnson will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Tuesday September 2
Frank and Pat Johnson will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Tuesday September 2

It was the same week that rock star Bruce Springsteen and football legend Peter Shilton were born, and three years before Queen Elizabeth II would ascend to the throne.

But September 24, 1949, was a very special day for a loved-up couple closer to home, as Frank Johnson and his wife, Mary Patricia (known as Pat) tied the knot.

An incredible 70 years later, the couple, who live in Almond Crescent, Louth, are preparing to celebrate their platinum anniversary next week - and they still as much in love as they have ever been.

Frank, 95, from Utterby, and Pat, 90, from Scartho, first met at a New Year’s Eve dance at New Waltham Village Hall back in 1946, where they had their first dance together.

Was it love at first sight?

“Not really, I don’t think!”, quipped Pat. “I think he fancied one of my pals first!”

Nevertheless, Frank and Pat got to know each other and, a few days later, they had their first date at the Queen’s Hall Cinema in Grimsby.

The rest is history, and just 18 months later they were married at St Giles Church, Scartho, before splashing out the princely sum of £300 to buy their first home together, off the main road in Utterby.

The couple had four children - Michael, Sandra, Paul and Nicholas - in the decade that followed, and eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren have since been added to their family tree.

Frank, an electrician by trade, served in the Royal Navy aboard a minesweeper during the Second World War when he was just 19 - for which he later received the Freedom of the Borough of North East Lincolnshire.

He was ‘invalided out’ of the Navy after a shadow was found on his lung, and he was told he would only live until the age of 60 if he took it easy.

Thirty-five years later than predicted, Frank is delighted to be able to say he has exceeded doctors’ expectations!

Frank went on to work for Shell and BP for more than 25 years, before his retirement.

Meanwhile, Pat trained in shorthand and typing and went to work for Jackson & Greens estate agents until she married, after which she became a housewife and raised their four children.

Pat has been a keen painter throughout her life, and the couple’s house is adorned with her wonderful artwork.

She also enjoys playing the organ, while Frank is a dab hand on his keyboard, and the couple were also keen caravanners until recently.

After 70 years, we simply had to ask Frank and Pat... What is the secret to a long and happy marriage?

Pat said: “We don’t argue much, and if we do - it’s just over quick, nothing serious!”