David and May Davies were born in 1925 and 1926 in Doncaster and Ashton respectively, meeting at Ashton Grammar School when they were only 11 years old. In 1948, just over a decade later, they were married in St Thomas’ Church, Ashton, making this year their 70th wedding anniversary, which they celebrated with a tea party in the village.
In days gone by, David and May enjoyed travelling around the world, which came about from David’s regular international business trips with his job in Pilkington’s glass manufacturers. When he retired in 1973, May caught her husband’s travelling bug and the jet setting duo visited as much of the world as they could, including Russia, China, Africa, Switzerland and Canada, which May had a particular soft spot for.
As a newly married couple, however, David and May liked to holiday a little closer to home in Wales, Scotland, and particularly the Isle of Man, where David had two aunts who loved to spoil them. Back in those days, their preferred method of transport was David’s motorbike, with David in the driver’s seat and May holding on tightly behind him.
The Davies have two sons: Glyn, born in 1953, and Rhys, born ten years later in 1963. They designed and built their family house in Ashton in 1956, living there until 2015 before moving to Belong Wigan when the couple required full-time dementia care. While Rhys runs his own oil and gas business in the Netherlands, former engineer and physics teacher Glyn lives in Ashton, allowing him to regularly visit his parents in the village.
Completing the Davies family are their four grandchildren: Claire, 27, Caitlin, 22, Alex, 19, and Charlotte, 14. This year, they welcomed their first great-grandchild, Marcus, who was born in September.
Reaching 70 years of marriage is no mean feat, so the staff at Belong Wigan celebrated with a special tea party in the Laurel household for David and May. Setting the tables with cloths and flowers to recreate their favourite restaurant, The Owls at Standish in Wigan, the couple spent their platinum wedding anniversary surrounded by friends and family, complete with a letter from Her Majesty the Queen.