The couple were surprised with a stately High Tea in the afternoon, featuring salmon and cucumber sandwiches, cupcakes, and celebratory bubbly. Activity Co-ordinator Deborah Living specially arranged a musical afternoon in celebration of David’s accomplishments in the field.
A Leeds-born Oxford graduate, musician, teacher, and composer, David is renowned for his musical research and composition based on birdsong, and his accomplishments were the subject of the 1990 BBC TV programme Q.E.D. in the episode ‘The Man Who Writes Birdsong’.
Gracewell of Edgbaston’s catering team, led by Head Chef Carl Cooper, created a special anniversary cake for the Hindleys – using the same ornamental decoration that had adorned the couple’s original wedding cake 61 years ago.
At Gracewell of Edgbaston, the couple are within walking distance from their younger daughter Jo, son-in-law John, 11-year-old grandson Theo, and their greyhound Wispa. David continues to be able to connect to music with his own wireless, light-up headphones and an iPod.
Olga and David are also regulars at the many events and performances by musicians and singers who visit the home, where Olga continues to enjoy making new friends with whom to share her new experiences.
Racquel Barretto, Home Manager at Gracewell of Edgbaston, commented:
“It was a real honour to be part of David and Olga’s 61st Wedding Anniversary celebrations, surrounded by their loving family, friends and staff. Huge thanks to the whole Gracewell of Edgbaston team and to our Activity Coordinator Deborah, who put so much effort into ensuring that their special day was so successful and memorable for all involved. David and Olga’s marriage really is an inspiration to us all!”
Highlights of David and Olga’s 61-year marriage:
- Olga and David met in 1951 in Kilkee on the west coast of Ireland, where both their families had chosen to holiday. Olga, the youngest daughter of the Hadden family, who were from Carlow town in County Carlow, was then 25 and a ‘maiden aunt’ looking after her mother. David was just 18. Olga, who in her heyday was a gifted soprano soloist, recalls the merry rainy evenings that the guests shared together on holiday when David, who played the piano, offered to accompany her singing.
- David went on to study at Oxford, and in his 3rd year Olga, who had graduated with a degree in Domestic Science, moved to England to be near David, taking up a position as cook in a local Oxford nurses’ home.
- The couple married in Dublin in 1956 and were due to spend their honeymoon night at The Strand Palace Hotel in London. Olga explained that “there was a bad storm that meant we had to land at Manchester then travel to London by train. We finally reached the hotel at six o’clock in the morning! They kindly didn’t make us check out until midday!”
- The couple moved to Little Shelford, Cambridgeshire, in 1963 when David became Head of Music at Homerton College Cambridge. When David retired, he and Olga welcomed B&B guests into their home, for which they won many ‘Best Bed & Breakfast’ awards.
- Olga, who will be 90 this year, looked after David at home until his dementia and her own macular degeneration made it impossible to continue living independently, even with their elder daughter Karen’s dedicated support.