Alan and Teddy Heale celebrate a half century of marriage

A West Yelland couple with 30 years of working at the former North Devon College celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Friday.

Alan, 73, and Terese, 74, (known as Teddy) Heale, were lecturer and college nurse, respectively.

From 1973, they spent three years in Zambia, volunteering their time at weekends for the charity Mission Medic-Air, dropping in to uncharted dirt air strips to bring aid.

They loved their time in Africa, but decided to leave when it came time for their son Christopher to go to school.

“I wanted to see a wild elephant, that was one of the reasons for going,” recalled Alan.

“The voluntary work was a way of being useful and of seeing the country, the bush part of traditional Africa.”

The couple moved to North Devon in 1979, with Alan taking up a post as engineering lecturer at North Devon College while Teddy worked as a nurse on the Caroline Thorpe Ward at North Devon District Hospital.

Later she became the college nurse and stayed there until her retirement.

Alan left the college in 1996 and spent nine years teaching the apprentices at Appledore.

Reflecting on reaching their anniversary milestone, Alan said: “We have been through a lot of trials and tribulations together, so I think we have an understanding and a working, loving relationship.”

They are both well known in the area and Alan took part in the annual Startrek walk for several years.