A FAMILY brought cheer to a hospital bedside by seeking special permission to celebrate a wedding anniversary there.
Ann Flynn suffered a fall a month ago, breaking her hip, and has not been able to get home since.
She had been due to celebrate 48 years of marriage to Michael with a party at a hotel but instead her husband brought the family – complete with cake – to Tiverton Hospital's Twyford Ward last Wednesday.
The Bampton couple have two sons and Ann, who had been taken to hospital in Exeter following the fall, said that it was much nicer being moved to Tiverton as she could see more of her family there.
Ann and Michael have been together more than 52 years, and met at a club in London when Michael's 6ft girlfriend was embarrassed because Michael was shorter than her.
"She grabbed Ann and said 'You're looking for a boyfriend, here you are'. We've been together ever since," laughed Michael.
Both born and brought up in London, the couple remained in the city for the first few years of their marriage before moving to Bampton in 1974, where they bought their first home.
Michael said: "I used to work for the London Bus Service, we moved down here and eventually I ended up driving for Stagecoach."
Ann worked for the Daily Mirror and later the South London Press, selling subscriptions.
She said: "I loved it. I worked up to two weeks before I had my first son."
Married in the Emmanuel church in West Dulwich on September 5, 1964, the couple were the last people ever to say their nuptials in the building.
Michael said: "It was an old church. I don't know if they were trying to tell us something but as we went out the bulldozers moved in and they've put a modern thing up now."
Michael joked that letting Ann be the boss was the secret to their happy marriage.
Ann said: "Everything was so different in those days, you couldn't live together then. But the secret is that it's all about give and take."
Michael said: "Marriage is about looking after each other and we've had a day we'll never forget."
Tiverton Hospital staff nurse Lizzie Yabsley said: "I think it's a lovely idea to have a party in the hospital – if you can't be at home why not celebrate in here anyway. It's not often you get to celebrate nearly 50 years of marriage."