They already had the love that would prove the test of time, but Raymond and Dorothy Bartley have a second love they will never lose.
The couple fell head over heels for Blackpool when the pair visited on their honeymoon 50 years ago.
And they have revisited the resort to celebrate every wedding anniversary since, and are back in town this week to mark their Golden Wedding.
Raymond and Dorothy, of Denbigh, North Wales, have made several friends in the resort over the years while staying at hotels on the Promenade, Adelaide Street and most recently Beechfield Hotel on Hornby Road.
Raymond, 75, said: “We’ve been very happy coming here for many years. When we first thought of coming here it was because we had known other people who had been, we were young and we just thought ‘Blackpool here we come’.
“We’ve fallen in love with the place.”
And as well as memories of their first holiday as a married couple, the resort holds treasured moments for the Bartley family. “Our son and daughter used to come with us – our son David, who is now 49, took his first steps in Stanley Park,” Raymond said.
“Now our grandchildren come out to see us.”
Raymond and Dorothy’s daughter Nia, 45, will visit from her North Wales home during the couple’s stay with her 18-year-old son, Matthew and 13-year-old Luke.
Raymond, a retired senior nurse in psychiatry, said: “In 50 years, Blackpool has changed tremendously.
“We used to always have to rush as soon as we got here to get a ticket for one of the shows before they sold out.
“We saw some great shows, and they are what make our trips to Blackpool stand out. We saw Cilla Black, Ken Dodd, Vera Lynn, The Shadows and Cliff Richard. You’d have to get tickets first thing on Saturday or you didn’t get them. That’s all changed now.”
Raymond said the couple would spend their trip this year visiting Cleveleys, going to Madame Tussauds, taking a tour around Blackpool FC and would go to see Blackpool Tower Circus.
“That’s another thing that’s changed – the circus,” he added. “When we first started coming here they had animals but of course that can’t happen now. Blackpool is really improving now. Adelaide Street and the area opposite the Winter Gardens look great, and we really like the shopping centre.
“But for us, the biggest improvement is the Promenade; it looks great.
“We’ve been very happy coming to Blackpool every year.”
Raymond and Dorothy, 71, who married in Glan Conwy, North Wales, on September 12, 1964, are also grandparents to David’s children Jack, 21, and Millie, 17 who live in Birmingham.