70th Wedding Anniversary at Belmore Lodge Care Home

Richard and Hilda's Belmore Lodge Platinum Party

70 years of wedded bliss thanks to love, laughter and mutual respect 


We're really delighted to share this story -  living in a good care home enables people to actually ENJOY later life instead of being weighed down by anxiety and potentially loneliness too, at home!


richard and hilda's platinum party at belmore lodge colten

Richard and Hilda's Platinum Party at Belmore Lodge


Platinum pair Richard and Hilda Snelling, 94 and 90 respectively, held a party at the Belmore Lodge care home in Lymington, where Richard has lived for the past six months.

Richard was serving in the army when he met the young Hilda Williams at a dance near her childhood home in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.


Top secret wartime duies in the army

His duties at the top secret Wilton Park interrogation centre included the collection, distribution and recording of rations for up to 500 people.

Top Nazis held there at the time included Rudolf Hess, who was appointed Deputy Fuhrer to Adolf Hitler in 1933 but flew to Scotland in 1941 in a bid to negotiate a peace deal with the Allies.

Richard and Hilda were married at Beaconsfield Parish Church in April 1946.  Hilda’s wedding dress included a mother-of-pearl brooch that was a gift from her grandmother and is still a treasured family possession 70 years later.

richard and hilda's wedding 70 years ago

After their marriage the couple moved to Southampton where they lived until last year.

Richard swapped the army for a career as a precision tool engineer and spent many years working for the manufacturing firm Luff & Smith.


Keeping fit in later life - daily wine allowance included!

The couple kept fit through dancing and playing badminton until well into their 80s. They were also founder members of the Solent Wine Circle and always allowed themselves a daily glass.


Hilda now lives in warden-assisted accommodation in Milford-on-Sea, but visits Richard at Belmore Lodge most days.

Asked about the recipe for a long and happy marriage, Richard said: “I’m not sure. It just works out sometimes.”

Secrets of a long and happy marriage


But daughter Pauline Aldworth added: “They have kept each other going with much love, affection and laughter and with a great deal of mutual respect.”

Staff at Belmore Lodge, run by family-owned Colten Care, laid on a party with lunch, champagne and cake in the home’s Rooftop Café.

Activities organiser Claire Fryer said: “It was a lovely occasion for a wonderful couple with a loving family. We were only too delighted to help them all celebrate.”


For information about care home living at Belmore Lodge click here


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