It was the year Queen Elizabeth II took to the throne and the big bang theory of creation was first suggested – but love birds David and Sheila Pratt had no time for all that.
For the childhood sweethearts were too busy having fun on the dancefloor, spinning around at the Beach Ballroom as they smiled on their very first date together.
And now, the lifelong couple have celebrated Valentine’s Day by turning back the clock – recreating that special moment from nearly 68 years ago, in 1952.
David, who has dementia, had hoped to get together with his beloved, 84-year-old Sheila, at the seaside venue a while back but took unwell.
However, the nostalgic moment finally took place yesterday as the couple fulfilled their dream of dancing to their favourite song – Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra.
The location of the Valentine’s Day treat was extra special for David, 85, and his other half, as they would meet there every Saturday back in their courting days.
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David said: “Meeting Sheila was one of the most special moments in my life so to finally get the chance to recreate this moment in a place that holds so many special memories for us both means a lot.
“Without each other there’s nothing.
“I wouldn’t be without her for five minutes.”
The couple’s eyes first met across a crowded room in 1952 when David was a 17-year-old printing press printer.
It was his shiny union lapel badge that caught the eye of his future wife, who was aged 16 at the time.
They later married and have two children and three grandchildren.
David is now a resident at Jesmond Care Home in Bridge of Don, where his wife visits every day.
Although she still lives at home, Sheila often joins her husband for meals, events and social gatherings.
Sheila said: “We didn’t know what a badge was going to do for us that day.
“And here we are, 68 years later, getting to do it all again.
“We can’t really dance but we can shuffle about.”
Jesmond Care Home manager Dawn Gardiner said: “We always aim to give our residents and their family the best possible experiences at Jesmond Care Home, so we were all very excited to be able to make David and Sheila’s dream come true.
“Sheila often visits David and takes part in the fun activities and events we host for the residents.
“It’s great when partners and families get involved, and only adds to the sense of community we have at the home.”