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COVID-19: Bolton couple reunited after 12 months apart due to pandemic

Written by on 6 February 2021

A couple in their 80s who have been married for 60 years have had an emotional reunion after being kept apart for almost a year by the coronavirus pandemic.

Stanley and Mavis Harbour, from Bolton, last spent time together on 20 February 2020.

Since then, Mavis, 81, and 83-year-old Stanley, have been kept apart by COVID-19 related visiting restrictions at his care home.

Mavis and Stanley Harbour have been separated since last February Image: Mavis and Stanley Harbour have been separated since last February

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He had moved to the Lever Edge Care Home in September 2019 because of a deterioration in his dementia, the Manchester Evening News said.

The pair, who have been inseparable since falling in love at first sight in the late 1950s, were reunited at the home after Mavis joined her husband there because of her own health issues.

After she completed a 14-day isolation period, staff at the home filmed the couple’s emotional reunion, saying it left “not a dry eye in the room”.

As the octogenarians sipped prosecco, Stanley, who gave his wife a bouquet of flowers, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw Mavis. It was like a dream.”

Mavis added: “I was very pleased to see Stanley. I’ve missed him so much that I got overwhelmed and just cried.

“I’m so happy. I never want to be away from him again. I feel lost without him.”

They kissed and hugged before being treated to a romantic candle-lit meal in the care home’s bar, featuring three courses, flutes of sparkling wine and a box of chocolates.

The couple have two sons, Peter and Neil, as well as three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

So, how have they stayed married for so long? Mavis puts their success down to plenty of give and take.

She said: “We’ve had a very good marriage. The key to a good marriage is compromise. Always talk things through.”

Lisa Martin, the home’s manager, told the paper: “We were so pleased to reunite Stanley and Mavis.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when she was finally able to see her beloved Stanley again.”

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