Sight loss charity Galloway’s helps Lancaster couple Gwen and Jim celebrate 72 years of marriage

Jim and Gwen Bell can never bear to be apart and can’t wait to celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve.

By Michelle Blade
Monday, 20th December 2021, 9:59 am
Galloway's sight loss advisor Pam Whitaker with Gwen and Jim Bell who are celebrating their 72nd wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve.
Galloway's sight loss advisor Pam Whitaker with Gwen and Jim Bell who are celebrating their 72nd wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve.

The couple, who live in Lancaster, were given a nice surprise when they were presented with gifts during a festive celebration at sight loss charity Galloway’s, in Morecambe.

Jim, 94, who has macular degeneration and Charles Bonnet Syndrome, regularly gets support from Galloway’s through its Talking Together telephone-based activities, and welcomed the chance to attend a face to face event in Morecambe.

He said: “It was absolutely lovely to celebrate with everyone and the gifts were a pleasant surprise.”

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Gwen, 91, said: “We love Galloway’s so much and everybody makes us feel so welcome. It is the only life we have now in terms of getting out. It was one of the best moments of the year for us. We enjoyed the music and Jim even played the tambourine.”

Pam Whitaker, Sight Loss Advisor at Galloway’s, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to be a part of Jim and Gwen’s special celebrations. “They have had a tough year through the pandemic and illness, so we wanted to show them how much we care by presenting them with some flowers. Karen Brook, Community Champion at Morrisons in Morecambe also kindly donated some chocolates and a bottle of fizz to hand to them, which was a lovely touch.

“We had lots of fun at our festive celebration, with a buffet and lots of singing and dancing as Steve Rayner, who also uses our services, brought his guitar and did a sterling job at entertaining us all.”

Jim and Gwen met when they worked together at Standfast Dyers and Printers in Lancaster and married at St Luke’s Church in Lancaster in 1949.

Gwen added: “We worked at the same place and he got his sister to ask me if he could go to the pictures with me.

“We then both left Standfast within two weeks of each other to work together at Greenwoods Menswear in Lancaster. We daren’t split up.

“Jim is such a nice person and I love him to bits. We share everything and we both like music and dancing.”