Polegate pair celebrate with diamond party

Mr and Mrs Hills SUS-160403-153040001

Mr and Mrs Hills SUS-160403-153040001

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A Polegate couple have celebrated 60 happy years together.

Ray and Sheila Hills met at a dance in the hall at the Red Lion in Stone Cross. Sheila was just 18 and from Willingdon and Ray was 21 and from Hailsham at the time.

The couple courted for around a year before tying the knot at St Mary’s Church in Willingdon. They enjoyed a reception at the Memorial Hall opposite the church after the service.

They made their family home in Polegate, where they have now lived for 56 years.

Ray worked as a bricklayer for various firms across the town for more than 50 years and Sheila was a carer for elderly people when she was younger.

Ray and Sheila went on to have four children together.

Christine, Stephen, Linda and Eugena all still live locally and the family has grown over the years – Ray and Sheila now have seven grand children and six great grandchildren.

All four children chipped in to pay for a party at the Fisherman’s Club in Eastbourne.

Sheila said, “Christine told me she had lost her address book and needed to borrow mine so she could take down some numbers. Really, she was arranging the party and inviting our friends but we had no idea – it was a total surprise.

“We had friends we hadn’t seen for years come. It was lovely.”

Ray, now 84, and Sheila, 79, have been members of the Hailsham Club where they enjoy socialising.

When asked the secret to a happy marriage, Sheila said, “We don’t argue,” and Ray joked, “You always win.”

Sheila added, “I think the children always helped.

“It is lovely to have a big family.”

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