Wetherby couple both reach 100 years old - crediting love for their long lives

Rita and Arnold, both 100
-Credit: (Image: Anchor Wetherby Manor)

A Wetherby couple have reached the grand combined age of 200, with both partners now centenarians, and they suggest that the secret to their long life together is simply LOVE.

Rita Bradbury celebrated her 100th birthday on Friday, May 31, with festivities taking place at Anchor's Wetherby Manor Care Home on St James Street. Rita has been a resident at the care home with her husband Arnold since 2015, who also turned 100 in October of the previous year.

Originally from Durham, Rita relocated to Yorkshire with her family just before World War II broke out. During the war, she served in the Wrens and was stationed in Grimsby, where her role involved spotting German U-Boats.

Her training took place in Windsor, where she witnessed then-princesses Elizabeth and Margaret performing in a pantomime, an event from which she still retains the programme. Rita met her future husband Arnold in Leeds, and the pair tied the knot at St Johns Church in Moortown in 1948.

The couple marked their 75th wedding anniversary at the care home in March of the previous year. Initially settling in Moortown, they later moved to Alwoodley, where they raised their two sons, Michael and Peter, reports Yorkshire Live.

Both sons were present to join in the celebrations for their mother's milestone birthday alongside their father Arnold.

Reflecting on their enduring partnership, Rita remarked: "I deserve a medal for putting up with Arnold but wouldn't change him for the world! We are still very much in love."

Arnold expressed his deep affection, saying: "It was love at first sight, we just knew we would spend the rest of our lives together."

He also praised their current residence: "We are very content here at Anchor's Wetherby Manor and the care team is marvellous, we are looked after very well."

Caroline Byron, who manages Anchor's Wetherby Manor, spoke warmly about the couple: "Arnold has a dry sense of humour and loves to talk about the past. Rita is quieter and loves to be well presented. She is known as the queen to some of the care team."

She added: "The couple enjoy many of the activities we put on for residents at Anchor's Wetherby Manor care home. Their favourite activities are exercise classes and entertainment events."