By Steve Hopkins
‘It was definitely love at first sight for me’
A doting husband has toasted his wife of 60 years and says he fell in love with her the first time they met – when she pulled him the “best pint of bitter” he’d ever had.
Michael Bartlett, 86, was smitten as soon as he clapped eyes on Jean, 89, when she was pulling pints behind the bar of his local boozer in 1962.
Jean, however, didn’t think for a second she’d spend the rest of her life with Michael when he ordered a pint of best bitter in the Bulls Head in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
But after they began courting, she too fell over head over heels in love with him and they’ve now enjoyed 60 years of wedded bliss.
Raising a glass to his wife, Michael said: “She pulled my best pint. It was definitely love at first sight for me.”
The retired engineer was in the pub where he was a regular while Jean was helping out her friends who ran the boozer for some extra cash.
They were introduced and Michael tried to woo her, but the pair didn’t properly hit it off until a trip to see Blackpool illuminations.
Jean says she fell for Michael’s sense of humour and kind personality and the pair were married within a year at their local church.
Michael added: “The landlord and landlady were friends of mine and Jean had come to help out on a night.
“I went in one night and she’d just started. She was behind the bar and she had lovely dark hair and I was just enamoured instantly.
“There was a gang of four of us who would go in for the last half an hour. We were introduced and it just went from there.
“A big group of us used to go to Blackpool, but that year there wasn’t as many so it was just me and Jean in the car and that’s when we knew it was serious.
“Within 10 months, we were married.”
Jean, who worked in telesales, jokes the couple didn’t actually have that much in common with each other, but they’ve always got on well.
When asked if it was love at first sight for her, she says: “No, I don’t think so. It was more or less when went to Blackpool to see the lights two or three months after we first met.
“We just got so well really, he’s got a great sense of humour which I enjoyed.
“We don’t have a lot in common, he talks a lot more than me and I’m not into sport, I was more into my line dancing.”
So different are their tastes that while Jean has family in Australia, keen cricket fan Michael once went without her to watch England in the Ashes series.
Jean added: “But we get on and he’s really good with the kids, which is so important.”
The couple, who have three sons, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, celebrated their anniversary with a family meal last month.
Michael said: “It was lovely. We are one big family. Family is everything to us. We had a great time and we all came back to ours and carried on celebrating in the back garden.
“We get on with each other and we’ve always enjoyed going holidays together. I’m not sure what the secret it, but I can definitely recommend marriage.”