This cute couple, together for 55 years, have an inspiring message of love
The couple are celebrating their landmark anniversary have reflected on how far LGBT rights have come in the past fifty-five years.
Ted Spring and Paul Pollard are believed to be Britain’s longest gay pairing, celebrating their 55th anniversary this week.
Mr Spring, 78, and Mr Pollard, 77, say they are still as happy as the day they first met.
The pair first met in 1960 at The Lockyer Hotel – one of only two gay bars in Plymouth at the time.
“I knew from the minute I saw him that this is someone I could spend the rest of my life with,” Ted told The Herald.
“I was chatting to a friend of his when he came over. He bought me a drink and we just started talking – he’s never bought me a drink since mind you!”
At the time, homosexuality was still illegal in the country and the couple had to wait seven years before they could be open about their relationship – although rampant homophobia meant it was often difficult for the pair to admit their feelings publicly.
“I just wanted to be normal,” Mr Spring – who was in the navy at the time – admitted.
“I’d had girlfriends in the past, but it never felt right. I always knew deep down; I just couldn’t tell anyone.
“I hate hurting people, and that’s why I struggled to come to terms with who I was. When I first met Paul, I was actually engaged to a woman.
“We’d been together before, split and got back together – I just couldn’t face putting her through all that again by telling her I was gay.
However, he says meeting Paul changed all of that.
“I was always frightened by the gay side of life, but Paul didn’t care. He always used to say, ‘What’s wrong with being queer? What’s wrong with that? Who cares what people think!’
“He showed me that no matter who you love, or what you love, love is beautiful and, after being with Paul for 55 years, I can honestly say I’ve never been happier.”
Reflecting on their time together – and how society’s views have changed – Ted says that he preferred growing up while homosexuality was illegal.
“Society has changed so much,” he added. “I think it was better when it was against the law, if I’m being honest.
“We were like a big family; we all knew who we were and where we could go. You’d go out and visit people on a Sunday for tea and things like that.
“We always used to go for drinks on a Saturday night at The Lockyer Hotel. It was only a little place, but we were used to it and the staff knew us all.
“The country has changed so much, but prejudice still goes on.
“If a lot more people had a better attitude, it would allow for a greater portion of society to live their lives.”