'We don't make such a fuss of Valentine's ... after 74 years'
THEY are believed to be the longest-married couple in Hull, having met when they were care-free teenagers at a youth club.
Peter Heron, 99, said wife Sylvia was the "belle of the ball" when she first caught his eye at a church in Park Street, west Hull.
Despite the pair becoming friends first, their relationship did not blossom until years later, when they met up in their twenties.
Soon after they tied the knot and the couple have now been married for almost 74 years.
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Peter, of Hawthorne Court, west Hull, said: "I couldn't believe my luck when Sylvia agreed to go out with me.
"There were other men who she could have gone out with.
"I was attracted first to her good looks and she really was the belle of the ball.
"We kept bumping into each other when we got a bit older and ended up talking more and started courting."
The couple married at the Church of Transfiguration in Albert Avenue, west Hull, on September 23, 1939.
Sylvia, 97, had to quit her job as a shorthand typist while Peter worked for the insurance company Prudential.
"When we got married we were going to wait to have a family because the war was on and I was called up for military service," he said.
"I went in to the RAF but shortly after I was based in Hemswell, Lincolnshire, Sylvia gave birth to our first child.
"Most of the pregnant women were taken to Gainsborough during the war to keep them safe, but it was too late for Sylvia because our child, Barbara, came two weeks early.
"It was torture seeing Hull burn from over the river, knowing my wife and daughter were caught up in the bombings back home.
"Barbara spent the first six months of her life with Sylvia in air raid shelters, but we all got through it."
Peter saw an advertisement in the Mail for a Valentine's Day competition at the Asda Living store in Anlaby for the "longest married couple in Hull". They were then nominated by their daughter Barbara Gleadhall, now 72, and grandchildren, and were awarded £150 gift card to spend in the store.
Peter said: "We just respect each other and have the same things in common.
"We have never been rich but we've never been poor. We've been careful with our money and thankful for what we have.
"Not once have we complained about the fact that we've never been abroad. We used to go all over England in our car and preferred being in this country.
"We've never been the type of people to think 'the grass is greener on the other side' and we love each other a lot.
"I have tried my best to look after Sylvia because she cannot get up and about like she used to.
"Before I retired I did not spend any time in the kitchen, now I'm in it all the time."
Sylvia said she is glad the pair are still going strong and they also have daughter Elizabeth Robinson, 70, six grandchildren and eight great- grandchildren, three of whom live in California.
"Peter has been a brilliant husband and we don't often row, but when we do we have forgotten all about it in the morning," Sylvia said.
"It's lovely to have won the competition and I'm just glad we're still in love.
"We don't make such a fuss of Valentine's Day now but it's nice for the younger couples.
"You just have to make sure you marry the right person and do your best to have a nice family life."
Peter said the secret to a long-lasting marriage is "tolerance" and couples sometimes have to agree to disagree.
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