Colin’s perseverance led to a life of wedded bliss
BLIND Colin Palmer rang his girlfriend virtually every night asking her to marry him and when she finally said ‘yes’ he thought he must have dialled the wrong number.
Now as Colin and his wife Corale, of York Road, Kennington, celebrate their 50th anniversary they proudly look back on a successful marriage.
“She’s a wonderful woman, the fountain of my life,” said 72year-old Colin. “As soon as I heard her voice for the first time in the visitor’s room of the old Ashford Hospital, I said ‘I’m going to marry her’.”
Back in 1958 Corale was a resident nurse at the hospital and Colin would sometimes accompany his brother Terry who was dating a nurse also living there.
It was on one of those visits that blind Colin heard Corale’s voice when she popped round to the room to ask a fellow nurse if she had any soap powder.
Corale said: “Colin was then 20 and I was 23. Within 10 days of meeting me he asked me to marry him and I refused. “We did however see each other regularly for some 18 months and every night he would ask me to marry him over the phone as I answered it. When I finally said yes he thought he had the wrong number.
“The thing I liked most about him was the way he expressed his love for me. Also I loved him for his remarkable courage and attitude to life, travelling up and down to London every day where he initially worked as a civil servant.”
Later Colin started up his own business with Corale which looked after the elderly by visiting them in their own homes. It was so successful it operated all over Lancashire with some 250 staff.
The couple, who have two children, Claire, 46, and Keiron, 48, have just returned from a 36,000 mile world cruise visiting 32 countries.
“When I turned blind at 15, people of that time used to think blind people were thick and sat in chairs all day,” said Colin. “I was determined to be a success and finding Corale was the best thing of all.”
The couple celebrating their golden wedding anniversary
Colin and Corale Palmer on their wedding day in 1960 at Willesborough church