A PARTY was held at a Hartlepool care home to mark the platinum wedding anniversary of two residents.

A cake, cards, gifts and balloons were presented to Rita Doughty, 92, and Noel Hick, 93, at Queens Meadow Care Home, on Stockton Road, to celebrate their 70 years of marriage.

After opening their telegram from the Queen, they received congratulations from staff, fellow residents, friends and family.

Rita and Noel first met in 1947 at a hospitals Christmas party, as they both worked at institutions in the north.

Rita was at York City Fever Hospital, later renamed Yearsley Bridge Hospital when it became part of the NHS during its foundation in 1948.

Noel worked between several hospitals in and around Hartlepool as an engineer.

Two years after their first meeting, the couple married at St Luke’s Church, on Tunstall Avenue, in Hartlepool, on 24th May 1949.

They held their wedding reception at Corporation Café, on Musgrave Street, which has since been demolished to make way for a housing estate.

They have one daughter, Jane, who is married to son-in-law David, and a granddaughter who lives in Seattle, in the US.

In March 2017, Rita and Noel moved to Queens Meadow Care Home so they can continue living together.

Rita said: “We are still very happy and still very much in love.”

Noel added: “Both living in Queens Meadow has enabled us to live side-by-side and spent the rest of our lives together.”

Julie Armstrong, home manager at Queens Meadow Care Home, said: “We were delighted to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary of residents Rita and Noel.

“They are such a lovely couple and, even after 70 years of marriage, so devoted to each other.”

“It was a privilege to hold their party at the care home to mark their amazing milestone. They both had a wonderful day.”