IT was love at first sight for a Wirral couple celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary today.

Francis and Myfanwy Bebb met while waiting for the last bus home after an army dance in Chester in August 1951.

They were married on December 24 that same year by special licence as Francis, serving with the Loyal Regiment, was shipping out to Tripoli in January for 10 months. Francis was 20 and Myfanwy 19.

Wirral Globe:

Myfanwy and Francis on the day they tied the knot - Christmas Eve 1951. Picture: Susan Banks 

Married life began in a small prefab in Ellesmere Port. They now live in Heswall.

With busy working lives, they both had many jobs.

Francis worked for BNFL Capenhurst and retired in his 60s.

Myfanwy worked full-time most of her life, taking a break when the children were very small. Her final job was caretaker for Parklands School in Little Sutton. They have four children - Susan, Carol, Amanda and Andrew - and grandchildren Hayley, Janelle, Luke, Corum and Kyle as well as a great-grandson, Cameron.

Wirral Globe:

Myfanwy and Francis on the day they tied the knot. Picture: Susan Banks 

Their secret to a long, happy marriage is simple: "When things went wrong, and they did so many times, we didn't just walk away; we got on with it and muddled through, usually with gritted teeth!

"Life isn’t always kind and everyone gets their share of unhappiness for different reasons.

"So many couples just give up when times get really tough but you have to sort it out. Don’t be stubborn or quick to blame, talk to each other. This is very, very important."

Wirral Globe:

Myfanwy and Francis during Christmas celebtration.

"Have lots of hugs even when you are busy and rushing around. Consider each other’s feelings, having different opinions is what made us the couple we are.

"We are lucky to celebrate this anniversary but it didn’t come easy we have both had our share of grief, hardship and illness. 

"When we first got married, money was short and that was a bone of contention because we had different priorities, especially as the family grew.

Wirral Globe:

Myfanwy and Francis relax at home

"We lived half of our married life in a council house and only bought our own house in the ‘80s when the children were older and a bit more self sufficient. In the early years, holidays were a treat, usually one a year, typically a week in a caravan or a tent in Wales. We all had such a great time and still talk about them now. 

"Later, we were lucky enough to travel to other parts of the world - Algeria, Bermuda, Spain, Turkey, Portugal, France, New Zealand and the USA.

Wirral Globe:

Myfanwy and Francis during one of their many holidays. Picture: Susan Banks

"We have a wonderful loving family, especially our children, grandchildren and great grandchild.

"We are all very close and look after each other. We also have a wonderful extended family - our in-laws, nieces, nephews - and keep in touch regularly, which is wonderful."

From all at the Globe, a very happy 70th anniversary and a very happy Christmas Myfanwy and Francis.