German bombs lead to couple’s epic marriage

Alan and Thelma Hallam of Skegness, celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary.
Alan and Thelma Hallam of Skegness, celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary.

A staggering 70 years of marriage have been celebrated by active Skegness couple Alan and Thelma Hallam.

Married in 1945 aged just 17 , the Hallams first met as children after a German air raid pushed their two families together.

At the time, the pair both lived in Nottingham, with Thelma’s family home being destroyed by the bombs.

“We got bombed out and moved to another house in the area, which was opposite Alan’s family,” said Thelma, 87.

They tied the knot in a humble ceremony on December 15 – and went back to their room for ‘a cup of tea and a piece of cake’.

“We got our first place together which was just one room costing four shillings a week in rent,” said Alan.

“There was no electricity but we had two gas lights and a fire. We had to carry buckets of coal up three flights of stairs, but we liked it.”

In their younger days, lan used to work for Raleigh bikes, the railway and an association helping blind people, while Thelma was a machinist.

They moved to Australia in 1951 and again in 1969, staying for 15 years. They returned to the UK and, upon retirement, moved to Skegness in the 1990s.

Today, they like to keep busy, with Alan being an active member of the local bowls and golf clubs.

Daughter Christine Rose said: “Dad joined the North Shore Golf Club and is still fit and active today.

“He has never been in hospital or had an operation. Every morning, he goes to Richmond caravan park, where he is a member of the gym and goes swimming – except Christmas Day when it’s closed.”

The pair also do their bit to help others, with Alan regularly making trips on his bike to visit elderly club members who are unwell or just need a bit of company.

“We’ve never been millionaires, but we are rich when it comes to friends,” said Alan.

Asked what the secret to a long marriage is, Thelma spoke about the need for team work and staying young at heart.

The couple have two daughters, seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. They celebrated their big day with a family meal out in Skegness.