The adventurous grandparents of a world champion sailor celebrated their sapphire wedding anniversary at a care home.
Geoff Blore, 88, and his wife Ella, 91, marked 65 years of marital bliss with their family and staff at the Pendine Park care organisation in Wrexham.
Ella, has been a resident at the Highfield House Care Home since June but in their younger days the couple toured Europe astride Geoff’s Vincent Rapide 1000cc motorbike.
Geoff remains very active and still rides his daughter’s moped from time to time.
The couple’s granddaughter, Hannah Walker, 30, who now lives in Plymouth, has inherited their daredevil genes.
She won world sailing titles in 2005 and 2008 after learning her craft with Gresford Sailing Club on the Flash, the lake near Borras in Wrexham.
According to Geoff, he couldn’t have asked for a better wife and he wouldn’t change a thing about their lives together.
He said: “I first saw Ella Roberts, as she was then, when I was cycling past Grove Park School. The girls went to class on one side of the road and the boys on the other. I used to see her walking to school.
“I went away on national service with the RAF; I was in Liverpool and an apprentice electrician. I came home on leave and saw Ella at the Church House dance. She was the only face I recognised from when I used to pass her on my cycle.
“We started courting and the next leave I had we were together again. Romance blossomed and the rest, as they say, is history. I never knew at first that she was three years older than me.”
He added: “I worked as a research scientist when we were first married and later became a music teacher teaching woodwind instruments. Ella was a shorthand typist and worked in local government.
“I was originally from Southport but Ella has always been a Wrexham girl. I didn’t ask her father’s permission to marry her. I asked Ella first just in case she said no!”
Geoff says he and Ella always had a passion for travel and they spent a lifetime touring Europe sometimes on the back of his Vincent Rapide motor cycle.
He said: “We went all over Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and the rest of Europe.
“We even went to the former Yugoslavia and Hungary when they were still behind the Iron Curtain and you had to get a visa to visit. It was certainly an experience. Ella loved it too.”
Geoff and Ella’s daughter, Julie Walker, the assistant head teacher of Gwersyllt Primary School, says her mum and dad are the perfect parents.
Julie, 57, who is married to Wrexham County Borough Council’s Road Safety Officer, Geoff Walker, said: “We have two daughters, Amie, 31, who is an actor and lives in London and Nia, 29, who now lives in Glasgow.
“We are all very excited as Amie has just landed a small part in the BBC’s long-running drama Casualty. She will play a police officer.
“My brother Nicholas and his wife Isabel, have three daughters, Ellie, 33, Hannah, 32, and Lizzie, 30. Hannah, who lives in Plymouth as does Lizzie, won two world titles in sailing in 2005 and 2008 after starting out learning her craft on Gresford Sailing Club’s Flash.
“Nicolas and Isabel’s daughter Ellie is the only one so far to have had children as she has a son Ewan, four, mum and dad’s only great grandchild. Ellie lives in Wrexham.”
Julie added: “We were always encouraged by mum and dad to explore and be inspired and not to follow the masses. I think it’s a great example to follow. In fact Nicholas and Hannah are away at the moment touring the Highlands of Scotland on their own motor bikes.
“We always had that sense of adventure but we have always known, no matter where we are in the world, we have mum and dad’s love to fall back on and that’s been so important.
“Dad still rides my moped on occasions he has always been very active. I remember all those holidays we spent camping around Europe and couldn’t believe it when mum and dad bought a caravan after Nicholas and I had flown the nest. That would have been luxury!”
Geoff’s sister, Rosemary Jones, 78, who also lives in Wrexham joined the celebrations at Highfield House and was a bridesmaid at their 1952 Wrexham wedding.
She said: “My brother certainly made the right choice in Ella. She has been the perfect wife and he the perfect husband. They have enjoyed a wonderful 65 years of married life. It’s a shame Ella is no longer able to live at home but Geoff visits almost every day.”
Geoff says he couldn’t have found a better care home than Highfield House and Ella is very happy.
He said: “I really couldn’t have expected anything better. Ella feels at home and that is very comforting. I also feel at ease whenever I visit and that’s important too. I never feel like I’m a guest, I feel like I’m part of the team.”
Daughter Julie added: “We looked at several places but instantly felt a sense of love and care at Highfield House. It’s a care home with a heart and mum’s not just in a room, she’s in Ella’s room and that’s so very important.”
Tracey Smith, the manager of Highfield, said: “Reaching this remarkable milestone is a wonderful achievement. Ella and Geoff are a lovely couple and we were delighted to welcome members of the family here for this very special celebration.
“We are pleased that Ella has settled in so well and that our training and development programme is helping to enrich the lives of residents and staff alike.”