Care home to give couples a Valentine's Day to remember

By Tristan Harris Thursday 13 February 2014 Updated: 14/02 22:16

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Buy photos » Joan and Jon Tidmarsh and Pauline and Christopher Smith celebrate Valentines Day. Photo by Marcus Mingins 0714030MMR

THERE will be love in the air at Bromsgrove’s Breme Care Home after staff organised a magical Valentine’s Day for two romantic couples.

John and Joan Tidmarsh, who will have been married 67 years in April, and Christopher and Pauline Smith, who tied the knot ten years ago, will have a day to remember at the home.

They have secretly been making Valentine’s cards for each other and will enjoy a candlelit dinner, where they will be serenaded by singers and enjoy a bottle of bubbly.

Joan and John met when she was 16 and he was 18 and a police cadet in Bromsgrove. His superintendent Reg Faulkner asked for someone who was good at maths to help his daughter with her studies and John volunteered.

John, 88, who flew Lancaster Bombers for the RAF in the war and is a Bromsgrove District Councillor, said it was love at first sight.

Joan, now 86, worked as a cook at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and taught at several schools and, after becoming heavily involved in Save the Children in the 1970s, she was honoured by Princess Anne for her charity work.

The pair settled in Bromsgrove in the mid-1960s. Joan back then became very ill and had one of her kidneys removed because of kidney stones and was told she only had 18 months to live - her miraculous recovery still makes her laugh today.

John and Joan have two daughters, six grandchildren and a great grandchild.

Joan, who has Alzheimer’s, moved into Breme Care Home two years ago.

The home’s activities leader Helen Barron said: “John comes to see Joan everyday, kisses her and tells her he loves her.

“He always brings her a punnet of fruit or some flowers and they sit and hold hands together.

“They are so in love and are such a devoted couple.”

Christopher and Pauline Smith, who met at Wood Green High School in Wednesbury where he taught art and she taught home economics, have lived at the home since September.

They put their successful marriage, which started at Bromsgrove Registry Office a decade ago, down to ‘honesty and openness’.

Pauline, 69, said her husband had a wicked sense of humour and that they both shared a lighter-hearted view of life.

Christopher, 81, said Pauline’s ‘gentleness and warmth’ attracted him to her.

The couple, who are both rail enthusiasts and enjoyed filming steam trains together, lived in Bromsgrove for many years.

Helen added: “Christopher and Pauline are an amazing couple and their love is an inspiration to us all, so we are so happy to be celebrating this special day with them.”

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