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‘Agree to disagree’ – the secret to a long marriage according to Hailsham residents

Highlighted home news

Love was in the air at a Hailsham care home when two residents celebrated a very special milestone.  

John, aged 93 and Sylvia Skinner, aged 79 toasted their 52nd wedding anniversary at Care UK’s Bowes House, on Battle Road, where they both live. 

John and Sylvia met when John was 37 and Sylvia was 24. Sylvia was working for a boat building firm as a secretary in Newhaven. 


When her boss asked her to pick up some materials from Southend, she said she had an old car and told him she wouldn't make it. John worked over the road in a dairy and was friends with Sylvia’s boss. Her boss remarked to Sylvie: “I bet you £5 you couldn’t get John to take you in his car.” So, Sylvie walked up to John and said, “Will you win my bet and take me to Southend?” He said yes, and rest was history.  

They enjoyed each other’s company so much that they continued to meet up after the trip, and they married on 1st May 1971 in Denton Church.

The couple settled in Newhaven, and they share one son together called Adrian. 

To toast the special milestone, Bowes House Head Chef prepared a surprise romantic meal for the couple in the home’s dining room, which was specially decorated for the occasion, including photos of the couple over the years. 

Andy Burt, Home Manager at Bowes House, said: “Here at Bowes House, we regularly celebrate big anniversaries and understand the importance of maintaining relationships and celebrating life’s milestones. We were honoured to be a part of such a special moment for Sylvia and John. They are truly inseparable, and we can all learn a thing or two from their long-lasting marriage.   

“Marking such a special occasion at the home allowed many of the residents to reminisce and share fond memories of their own wedding days – it was lovely to hear their stories too. Happy anniversary Sylvia and John!” 

Bowes House is a state-of-the-art care home which provides full-time residential, nursing and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care. Designed to enable residents to live enjoyable and fulfilling lives, the care home has it very own cinema and hairdressers and there is plenty of space both indoors and out for relaxation and recreation. The home has a comprehensive activity programme offering a mix of themed events, group activities and days out.

To find out more about Bowes House, contact Senior Customer Relations Manager Karen Milligan, on 01323 888 611 or email 

For more general information, visit 

Open to new residents

25 Battle Road, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 1DU

Bowes House

CQC Rating: Good
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

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