RAF couple married for 59 years celebrate wedding anniversary on the same hospital ward while both fighting Covid-19

Soulmates Brian and Margaret Speckman have celebrated 59 years of marriage – on the same hospital ward where they are both fighting Covid-19.
Brian and Margaret Speckman pictured as they celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary in hospital.Brian and Margaret Speckman pictured as they celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary in hospital.
Brian and Margaret Speckman pictured as they celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary in hospital.

And the Peterlee couple have heaped praise on the big-hearted hospital staff for making sure they could be together for their wedding anniversary.

The husband and wife are both battling Covid-19 at the University Hospital of North Tees.

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Margaret said: “I had called the ambulance service because I was concerned for Brian and he was rushed in to hospital. Shortly after, another crew admitted me into hospital as well, so we both ended up COVID positive and in North Tees.

A cake to mark their big day.A cake to mark their big day.
A cake to mark their big day.

“From then on it was like a bad dream, but the staff have really been amazing and did their utmost to get myself and Brian onto the same ward.”

Margaret praised the hospital staff for going out of their way to support her and Brian.

“We are so grateful for what everyone has done to care for us. We have definitely had some hiccups along the way – but are looking forward to making it back home in the very near future,” she said.

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The pair’s hospital stay has lasted for more than three weeks so far.

But the soulmates have thanked staff for their care after celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary on ward 25.

The couple first met on April Fool’s day – April 1, 1961, when Brian was posted at RAF Wattisham in Suffolk. Margaret soon followed suit and joined the WAFS (Women's Auxiliary Flying Squadron) three months later.

Brian said it was ‘the best posting ever – I met the love of my life’.

He explained how he and Margaret first met.

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“While waiting for the bus back to camp I saw this lovely young lady and plucked up the courage to ask her out on a date.

“It was then I realised that the bus stop was outside of Woolworths.”

Brian added: “Since then I have always called Margaret ‘The Wonder of Woolies’.”

But there have been hurdles to face along the way and Margaret said: “In September 1961, just after getting engaged we discovered Brian was going to be stationed in Malta for three years – so the next time I saw him was over seven months later when he was on leave.

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“We had to make the best of our moments together, but we still managed to get married on 22 September 1962.”

That was when Margaret flew back to Malta ‘to begin our lives together’,” said Margaret.

Married life has been wonderful for the couple and Margaret added: “We have had a lovely life together as husband and wife.”

She and Brian have a family of a son, two daughters, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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Reflecting on their 59 years of marriage, Margaret added: “We have had our ups and downs, but we are so proud of what we have achieved during our 59 years together.”

The couple got to celebrate their anniversary on the ward with a special anniversary cake.

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