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Joan and Maurice celebrate 70 years of marriage

Sandford Station residents, Joan and Maurice Vogel celebrated their Platinum wedding anniversary with one hundred of their fellow St Monica Trust residents.

Joan and Maurice Vogel, who were married 70 years ago on 30 November 1946, were toasted by residents from all four of the Trust’s retirement communities during a Christmas lunch held at The Batch country house in Lympsham.

When Joan met her ‘darl’

Joan was born in the former North Western Provinces of British India where her father ran the regimental office of the 9th Lancers Horse regiment.

She returned to live in Kentish Town, London when she was ten years-old and actually took her 11 plus exam the day after she arrived in England.

The couple met at a friend’s birthday party in Highgate when Maurice offered to escort Joan home during a wartime blackout.

Joan who always calls Maurice ‘darling’ or ‘darl’ for short, said: “Everyone else was going one way and I was the only one going the other way.

“‘Darl’ very appropriately said that he would see me safely home and that’s how we met.”

Tantivy, Tantivy, Tantivy

The couple were married at the register office in Highgate, North London. Maurice was still in the navy at the time, having served as an artificer on the submarine HMS Tantivy in the Mediterranean and the Far East during World War II.

After they were married Joan continued to teach at Haringey School, near Wood Green.

Maurice, after finishing his apprenticeship as a scientific instrument maker, had a long and successful career working for an American industrial gas company, becoming their European Safety Director.

Kings Cross fire

In 1987 Maurice was appointed to the board of London Underground by the Government following the King’s Cross underground station fire.

Said Maurice: “My role was to direct London Underground with regards to improving their safety procedures as per the findings of the Fennell Report, which was produced in the aftermath of the disaster.”

Their daughter Judy was born in 1951 and they have one grandson and one great grandson. Joan and Maurice moved to Stanton Wick in 1986, shortly after Judy and husband, Paul relocated to Bristol for work and have lived in North Somerset ever since.

Give your shoulders a good shake

The couple moved into Sandford Station retirement community shortly after it opened in 2009 and continue to live independently with the assistance of the Trust’s care and support team.

And the secret of a good marriage? Joan said: “Being able to tolerate each other and not getting ratty if someone does or says something you don’t like.

“And if they do – just give your shoulders a good shake. It works wonders!”