Surprise visit caps couple's golden day

PUBLISHED: 11:08 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

Janet and David Day

Janet and David Day

FIFTY years after selling their bikes to get married, childhood sweethearts David and Janet Day have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. The former hoteliers, who have lived in St Albans all of their lives, met as young teenagers at a friend s ho

FIFTY years after selling their bikes to get married, childhood sweethearts David and Janet Day have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

The former hoteliers, who have lived in St Albans all of their lives, met as young teenagers at a friend's house and married on St David's Day, 1958, immediately after Mr Day completed his National Service.

He had been posted to Germany and won Best Recruit during his training.

The couple had to part with their bikes to pay for their no-expense-spared wedding and honeymoon in the then-fashionable Butlins Hotel in Cliftonville, Margate.

The newly-weds appeared in the Daily Herald newspaper that week, along with a record breaking number of 40 other honeymoon couples.

Mr and Mrs Day, now aged 71 and 69 respectively, went on to establish successful careers in the city for nearly 30 years.

Then 20 years ago they converted their home in London Road, where they had moved in 1972 with Mrs Day's parents, into the nine-bedroom Apples Hotel.

After years of hard work running the hotel, they retired two-years-ago and transformed the hotel into two houses, one of which is now occupied by their 38-year-old son, his wife and their two-year-old daughter.

The couple celebrated their landmark anniversary at Charles Morris Hall, in Tyttenhanger Green, which was made all the more special by the appearance of a surprise guest.

Mrs Day said she was "stupefied" when her sister, Ann, who moved to Australia as a £10 Pom 40 years ago, turned up for the party after hiding out in St Albans for a week to ensure her appearance was a surprise.

Further celebrations will be in swing later this month when Ann marries her partner in St Albans.

Following that, Mr and Mrs Day will be taking some well-earned relaxation on a Mediterranean cruise.

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