After 100 days apart due to restrictions and their own recoveries, George and Joyce Bell, 89 and 87 respectively, were reunited at the care home last week
Image: Tollesby Hall Care Home)
An elderly married couple shed tears upon being reunited in a nursing home, after 100 days apart due to restrictions and ill health.
George and Joyce Bell were admitted to hospital separately due to ill health, before going to stay at Tollesby Hall Care Home, Middlesbrough, to recover.
After 100 days apart due to restrictions and their own recoveries, the pair were reunited at the care home last week.
Speaking to Teesside Live, Joyce said “I can’t tell you how nice it was. I told him I’d always be there for him, no matter what.”
“He held me tight and said he’d never leave me again for the rest of his life.”
Joyce, now 87, and George, 89, grew up in Middlesbrough and lived next door but one to each other.
Tollesby Hall Care Home)
“My mum used to call him ‘The big daft lad on the motorcycle’,” Joyce said.
“I admired him from afar. He made everyone call him George, he didn’t like Mr Bell, he didn’t like a fuss.”
George was always playing tricks on people, she said, but went out of his way to help anyone he could.
They married 66 years ago when Joyce was 21 and George was 23 at the old St Cuthbert’s Church on Newport Road – which is no longer there.
When asked about the secret to a long marriage, Joyce said: “Let them have their own way.”
She also said that sometimes you needed to “put your foot down”.
“You have to, with George,” she added.
After his National Service at the start of their marriage, George was an electrician, an armature winder, which he loved, and he would make life-size models of engines as a hobby.
Joyce worked as a mobile window dresser and would go round all the big towns in the area to create the displays.
When she turned 65, she didn’t want to retire because she loved it so much.
Tollesby Hall Care Home)
For their Ruby wedding anniversary, George bought Joyce a beautiful ring that she will always treasure.
Before they were admitted to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, in June, they lived in a bungalow in Marton.
“I made him make me a promise,” Joyce said. “I told him if he ends up going into a home that I’m not going into one.”
But now they are in the nursing home to recoup, the pair are both pleased with how well they are being looked after.
Joyce is recovering well from her broken hip, and the staff take her downstairs to visit George every day.
Rachel White, activities at Tollesby Hall Care Home, said: “With the support from the team here at Tollesby we were able to reunite George and his wife again.
“When Joyce arrived here at Tollesby Hall we told her husband would be coming in soon after.
“She was so excited and nervous, she couldn’t sleep, she told staff she felt like a young girl again.
“It was very emotional when we brought them together for the first time, not just for them but for all the team here at Tollesby who are looking after them.
“It was such a heart-warming moment to be a part of and moved many of us to tears.
“With the support of the team here at Tollesby we are looking at getting them back in their home where they can return to their life together to carry on their fairy tale.”