The four ‘T’s’, an enduring faith and all good things in moderation.

Brian and Connie share their secrets behind more than 80 years together.

If you were looking for a couple who know the secret to a long-lasting and enduring relationship, then look no further than Brian and Connie Quarry who live in Kingston.

Aged 98 and 96, the pair have spent a glorious 81 years together, of which 73 years have been as husband and wife.

Such is their longevity as a couple, their time together has spanned the reigns of three Monarchs, 18 Prime Ministers and together they have witnessed war, peace time, recession and a global health pandemic.

Now living together at Signature at Coombe Hill Manor, a local care home, the couple’s journey
began as churchgoers in 1942 where the pair met aged 16 and 15, while Brian served as the church organist. Playing the organ is still a part of Brian’s repertoire more than 80 years on. As couples across the country mark Valentine’s Day, Brian and Connie share their own story of how they built a healthy and lasting relationship.

Married aged 25 and 24 on 26 August 1950, the majority of their married life was spent in Bedford. The delay between their relationship beginning and married life starting owed to their need to save money whilst Brian was studying for his accountancy exams. It was their ability to plan ahead and form solid foundations that enabled them to build their relationship together, and latterly their home.

Brian Quarry said: “On a Saturday afternoon, we would go for our favourite afternoon tea in the local Cadena Café then afterwards would buy something for our ‘bottom drawer’. This was a large chest that we filled with things for our first home together.

“It might only have been something small like a whisk, but that is how we built up our kitchen.” The Quarrys agree that all relationships do have their little tiffs, but that these can be overcame together through healthy communication. When discussing the secrets to their long-lasting relationship, Connie Quarry says it begins with ‘the four T’s’: tolerance, talk, touch, trust.

She said: “The secret is to always make up, do not let things fester, it does not get you anywhere. We simply could not manage without each other.”

Their favourite shared memory is an example of where they both sailed a little close to the wind. Connie came and met Brian from work one Sunday afternoon. They went for a long walk together that very afternoon. Having lost track of time, it landed them in trouble with their respective families because they arrived back later than what was agreed.

Their son, Gareth Quarry, said: “My parents met when they were 16 and 15 through their involvement with the church, where my dad was the church organist. In those days of course, pre-marriage, theirs was a platonic relationship until they wed in Bedford in 1950.

“Two sons later, now themselves in their mid to late 60’s, mum and dad are still together after more than 80 years. Their secret? They have always remained fit, eaten healthily, drunk only in moderation enjoying the odd glass of champagne (her) or tot of whisky (him). Sharing an enduring C of E faith practised together daily and, in recent years, occasionally deliberately turning their respective hearing aids off has probably also helped!”.