Sefton couple share secret to 65 years of marital bliss

A Sefton couple’s lifelong love which began when they met on a bus in the 1950s is being celebrated as they reach their 65th wedding anniversary.

It was love at first sight for Jim and Margaret McNally when he caught sight of her on a bus in May 1952 in Liverpool city centre, and two years later they got married.

Jim, who was working as a bus conductor, said: “I was 23 at the time and as we pulled in to Skelhorne Street for a break I saw Margaret, who was 19, sitting at the back of the bus. I started chatting to her and eventually asked her out on a date.”

They tied the knot on 22 May 1954 in St James Church on Marsh Lane, Bootle, close to where the young bride grew up.

Jim and Margaret McNally of Hawthorne Court in Litherland married on 22 May 1954 in St James Church on Marsh Lane, Bootle, close to where the young bride grew up.

Margaret, 86, said: “I didn’t drink and Jim didn’t like dancing so we went on dates to the theatre or the pictures and trips to places like Southport. It was a wonderful time and we’ve enjoyed 67 memorable years together.”

“We have had rows but we never go to bed on an argument,” admits 91-year-old Jim who served as a volunteer in the RAF for six years and lived on Scotland Road where his dad owned the Crown Vaults pub.

“I reply ‘yes dear’ and ‘no dear’, he joked. “But in all seriousness I think it’s all about compromising with each other that we’re still together.”

Now the happy couple are marking their sapphire anniversary with a party at Hawthorne Court Retirement Living scheme in Litherland where they live. Staff and residents at the Riverside scheme celebrated the milestone with them, and marking the couple living at the scheme for nearly 25 years.

Jim and Margaret McNally of Hawthorne Court Retirement Living Scheme in Litherland celebrate 65th wedding anniversary.

Jim and Margaret are one of the longest serving residents at Hawthorne Court, which has 37 apartments for people over 55. They enjoy taking part in social activities held in the communal lounge such as dancing and music events.

Jim added: “We decided to move here when Margaret’s health wasn’t very good. We lived in a four-bedroomed house on Park Street and climbing the stairs got difficult for her. It’s much easier living here because it has a lift, we feel safe and secure and our family are close by.

“We enjoy taking part in activities, there’s plenty of entertainment for residents to get together and socialise. We used to run a breakfast club for three years and would organise day trips to the theatre. We’ve enjoyed living here and our flat is ideal, nice and warm too.”

Jim and Margaret are not far from their old family home where they raised four sons and two daughters. They also have 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

“We get on well and work well together and share everything”, says Margaret sharing their secret to marital bliss.

Jim and Margaret McNally are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary and have been living at the Hawthorne Court Retirement Living Scheme in Litherland for almost 25 years. Jolan Gergely, regional operations manager, presents them with flowers.

Jolan Gergely, Riverside’s Regional Operations Manager, presented flowers to the couple and congratulated them on the milestone. She said: “Everyone had a great time and we’re all pleased to be celebrating this happy occasion and marking Jim and Margaret’s special day. It’s lovely to see them both together, they are still in love and look after each other. We wish them all the best and it’s heart-warming to see that marriages can last this long.”