A GRANDDAD from Barry has shared the touching story of his 40-year marriage and won a competition hosted by Cardiff's Capitol centre.
The Capitol hosted the competition to find the city's oldest friendships - inviting shoppers to share their memories of friendships, courtships and even relationships formed in Cardiff over the years.
Graham Jones, 71, stepped forward with a touching story of how he met his wife of nearly forty years, Jeanette.
Graham lives in Barry Island, but was born in Cardiff and worked for Cardiff Bus as a driver and conductor until his retirement.
He met his wife, who also worked for Cardiff Bus, in the staff canteen in 1962 and asked her out on a date. Their relationship quickly blossomed and they married two years later.
The couple went out on evenings and weekends, going dancing and catching the latest films at old Capitol cinema. Graham, who has just completed writing his autobiography, also enjoyed performing karaoke.
Jeanette died in 2003, following a stroke. Graham had cared for her for three years, even sleeping with her in a corridor of the Heath Hospital for over 24 hours while they couldn’t find her a bed.
The couple had two sons together and Graham now has five grandchildren, four boys and one girl.
Speaking after he was given his prize of £200 in shopping vouchers, Graham said: "I’m so happy to win this prize, as I’ve barely won anything before in my life.
"I met my wife while working in the staff canteen and asked her straight out, as she was a real cracker.The rest is history.
“We used to go to the cinema or dancing every week, but once my wife fell pregnant with our second son, we had to give up the dancing, although I had two left feet anyway.
“Sadly, my wife is no longer here after her stroke and I miss her every day, having nursed her for three years from one hospital to another. I even sat by her for 24 hours in a hospital corridor after she first had her stroke because they couldn’t find her a bed.
"She never walked or spoke again and I loved caring for her but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. I loved her so much and will always miss her, even though I believe we still have a strong connection today.”
Sally Jones, Deputy Centre Manager at the Capitol Shopping Centre, said: “We had lots of fantastic entries for this competition but Graham’s story really stood out for us.
“His love and dedication to his wife is exceptional and he is a credit to the city. We hope he enjoys spending his prize vouchers.”