Happy Valentine’s Day from the team at Clifton House! We all love a good love story, and it is very apt to share this particular one between two residents of Clifton House.

During the Second World War, the residents of Clifton House- then known as the Belfast Charitable Institution- were evacuated from Belfast to Garron Tower on the North Coast due to the threat of air raids on the city.  It was during the stay there that the Belfast Charitable Society had the first recorded marriage between two residents in its long history.

A bachelor called John Bloomer, aged 83, requested permission to marry another resident, Frances Ash, aged 65. The request was duly granted and the couple were married at Largy Road Parish Church, a short distance from Garron Tower in August 1944. The ceremony was attended by residents, nurses and other staff. The couple were granted permission by the Belfast Charitable Society Board to honeymoon for a week in Larne before coming back to Garron Tower- on their return the newly weds were given a room in the married couples’ quarters.