Feb 19 2013 by Rebecca Koncienzcy, Formby Times
Formby’s diamond couple
FORMBY sweethearts Brian and Barbara Barnett are celebrating 60 years of marriage on March 21 after falling in love at school (writes Rebecca Koncienzcy).
Over the past six decades Mr and Mrs Barnett, now 82 and 80 respectively, have not only put in the hard work to their relationship and family but also to hours of charitable work and raising money for various causes through Rotary.
Brian was chief of planning at Sefton Council while Barbara looked after their three daughters.
Proud daughter Alison Scally said: “It is very rare to see such commitment these days and it is through them that I have learnt lessons on how to make relationships work.
“There is no secret to their longevity, just a solid family that has kept them together and always making time for each other and being a team.”
The solid family at the heart of Formby’s diamond couple include eight grandsons and four great-grand children aged between two months and 14 years and it was this strong family that helped the couple cope with the tragic death of their eldest daughter, Shirley in 1993 at the age of 38.
Alison said: “My parents are very close to all their grandchildren and following the death of my sister to bowel cancer they played a pivotal role in bringing up her two boys.
“It was after the birth of mum’s first great-grand child, Max, that she knitted a blanket for him and then continued knitting blankets to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care’s Daffodil Appeal.
“Since then she has raised nearly £8,000. Everyone has got a blanket now and we are all just so proud of her.”
The childhood sweethearts met aged 16 and 14 and have been inseparable ever since.
“They are both still very active, they enjoy gardening together and go for walks; they still hold hands.
“There are so many brilliant memories from my childhood growing up in Formby, mum and dad always made time for us as a family. Me and my sister Pamela are very proud of their achievement.”