The Blackpool couple’s secret after 70 years of marriage

Denis, 94, and Mary, 90, were married at Blackpool’s Holy Trinity Church on Dean Street on March 22, 1952 and celebrated their platinum anniversary this week.

The couple, who spent many years working together in the hospitality industry in Blackpool, enjoyed a family celebration at their home on Johnsville Avenue, South Shore, with champagne and afternoon tea.

They have two adult children, Virginia and Paul, as well as three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

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Denis and Mary Mitchell celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary

Asked about the secret to their happy marriage, Mary replied: “We get along well, that’s the main thing.

“When we first met, at the Winter Gardens Ball in Blackpool, Denis said he wasn’t very good at dancing but I told him he had to learn!

“And after that we went dancing for years.”

Denis said: “Because we worked together, we got used to spending time together and kept busy, and I think that was a good thing.

Denis and Mary Mitchell on their wedding day

“Working at the hotel allowed us to stay in shape!”

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Denis moved to Blackpool from Southport as a young boy from Southport to Blackpool with his eight siblings.

He served in the RAF then worked at Orrys Men’s Outfitters in Blackpool before becoming a hotelier.

Denis and Mary Mitchell with their family

Mary’s parents owned the Windsor Hotel on the Blackpool seafront, where she grew up.

Mary and Denis, along with Mary’s brother George and his wife Kathleen took over the management of the hotel, where they enjoyed many happy years until the mid-1980s.

The couple’s daughter, Virginia, worked on Blackpool trams and sunbeds as a student before becoming a teacher at Roseacre and Haweside School.

Their son Paul is an avid Blackpool FC supporter and trained as a dentist, where he practiced at St Anne’s until his recent retirement.

The whole family has remained in Blackpool and all live nearby.

Granddaughter Carly Nicholson said: ‘My grandparents are the life and soul of any party, they have a loving family who are very proud of them.

“We are all very close and enjoyed celebrating their milestone with them.”

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