Sealed with a kiss!

Ken Sharp and Olive Sharp celebrate their 66th year wedding anniversary. Below: Ken and Olive on their wedding day in 1945.
Ken Sharp and Olive Sharp celebrate their 66th year wedding anniversary. Below: Ken and Olive on their wedding day in 1945.
2
Have your say

Ken and Olive Sharp have loved each other since they saw each other at a church service in 1945.

Two years later they were married, and this week they have celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary.

Ken and Olive on their wedding day in 1945.

Ken and Olive on their wedding day in 1945.

And Ken, 89, is as devoted as ever, visiting Olive every single day, come rain and shine, in the home where she is now cared for.

“We are bonded together,” he said.

“We’ve had a very happy marriage full of laughter along the way. We’ve had our ups and downs, but nothing serious.”

Ken, who used to work for the electricity board, retired in 1985, and said he and Olive, also 89, used to enjoy walks in the park and along the Promenade every afternoon, and holidayed all over Europe.

But in a cruel twist of fate, Olive, former secretary to the chief collector of taxes at the Inland Revenue, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2002.

Ken cared for her at their home on Wembley Avenue, Layton, but in 2010, when he started suffering with heart problems, Olive moved to the Acorn Nursing Home on Newton Drive.

He visits her every afternoon.Ken said: “She has a spell they call “sundown” every day at about 3.30pm, when she starts asking for her mother and father and things like that.

“She asks for our daughter Barbara, who’s now living in America, thinking she’s five or six. She thinks it’s 50 years ago.

“It’s hard in a way.

“Alzheimer’s is not a disease like cancer, where you keep contact with the person suffering with it. With this you are talking to a blank wall more or less, that’s what gets you.

“We’ve had 14 years this way, I’d give everything to bring her home but that’s almost impossible now.”

But Ken says the couple have had a lovely life, filled with their children and their work for the Salvation Army.

Olive used to play the church organ, and can be seen today when there is music playing tapping the table as if she is playing the piano.

“It’s love that keeps us together,” he said.

“I keep going to see her every day and I’m managing. As long as I can look after her, that’s all I’m bothered about.”

The pair met at Blackpool Salvation Army.

Ken had just come out of the Royal Marines and returned to his home in Fleetwood.

The pair got engaged during a day out in Morecambe and were married at the Salvation Army on September 27, 1947. They have three children, Joy, Kevin and Barbara, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Follow us on twitter @The_Gazette and like our page on facebook to keep up with all the latest news.