The uplifting moment which saw a Bolton couple reunite after 12 months apart has been capturing the hearts of the nation.
Stanley and Mavis Harbour have been married for over 60 years.
The last time they got to spend time together was in February 2020 at Lever Edge Care Home in Bolton, but as coronavirus (COVID-19) began to spread across the country and national restrictions were put into place, the couple were ripped apart for a whole year.
Stanley, 83, moved into the home in September 2019 after his dementia began to deteriorate, with Mavis, 81, now deciding to join him as a resident after falling ill herself.
And after a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, the couple were allowed to embrace in a teary and heartwarming reunion, where they were even treated to a romantic candle-lit three-course meal of tomato soup, followed by meat and potato pie with vegetables, and a chocolate cake for dessert, alongside flutes of prosecco and a box of chocolates.
Stanley – who greeted his wife with a bouquet of flowers – said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw Mavis.
“It was like a dream”.
“I was very pleased to see Stanley” Mavis added.
“I’ve missed him so much that I got overwhelmed and just cried. I’m so happy. I never want to be away from him again. I feel lost without him.”
She also told of how they met and admitted it was love at first sight when she saw Stanley walking along the road on her way home from work in the late 1950s, adding: “I was on my way home from Holts Hoisery, where I worked, when I saw Stanley”.
She continued: “I asked my Dad who he was and was told me was a joiner.
“I knew straight away I was going to marry him.”
The couple tied the knot at St George the Martyr Church, Bolton, in the early 1960s and have lived together in the town ever since.
They have two sons, Peter and Neil, as well as three grandchildren and one great grandchild.
So, what is their secret to a long and happy marriage?
Besides having a huge amount of love and care for each other, Mavis also puts their success down to plenty of give and take.
“We’ve had a very good marriage.” Mavis said.
“The key to a good marriage is compromise. Always talk things through. We had our first child together at 23 and have lived very happily”.
Lisa Martin – Home Manager at Lever Edge Care Home – said: “We were so pleased to reunite Stanley and Mavis.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when she was finally able to see her beloved Stanley again”.