Soapy suds lead to a life-long union

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For most people the washing up is one of life’s constant pains but for Clowne sweethearts George and Mary Holliday it was the answer to their prayers.

The platinum pair, who have now been wed for 70 years, first met while washing pots at an Army base in Orkney during the Second World War.

George, 93, who had been called up when he was 18 and deployed there as a driver, was helping out with the washing up when he first clapped eyes on his future wife, Mary, 96, across a sink full of dirty dishes.

When the war finished, the couple moved to Glasgow, where Mary’s family were living, and they were married the following year, on October 25, 1946.

Unfortunately George was unable to find a job and so they moved down to his native Sheffield, where he once again found work as a driver.

He went on to work at the brewery and later the steelworks, while Mary trained as a nurse.

When their children left home, George and Mary downsized to Clowne, where George put his green fingers to work, filling the garden with fruit, vegetables and flowers and the kitchen was filled with the smell of Mary’s freshly-baked cakes.

And although 70 years of marriage is undoubtedly a remarkable milestone, for Mary, finally receiving her engagement ring from George in 2014 was the real icing on the cake.

Husband George had unfortunately not been unable to stump up for Mary’s rock back in the austere post-war 1946.

George said the secret to a long, happy marriage was always being true to each other.