Bill and Barb share secret to a long marriage

Bill and Barb Tapscott with a photo from their wedding day, 60 years ago.

The secret to a long marriage is to never go to bed angry according to Mount Pleasant’s Bill and Barb Tapscott.

Bill said, “You have to get the arguments out of the way beforehand. 

“Besides that there’s not much else!”

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The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last Thursday.

They were married at St John Anglican Church, Mount Pleasant on May 14, 1960.

“I remember our very first date was at a ball in Cambrai,” said Barb.

Bill added, “Yeah she was a good dancer… I wasn’t!”

The couple have four children, Andrew, Vicki, Tracey and Kym. 

They have nine grand-children, and now also have six great grand-children.

Barb was a shop assistant for many years, and the pair had bought a shop in the town which they owned and lived in the attached dwelling for five years.

“The house we live in now, was the only empty house here in Mount Pleasant when we moved out of the shop in 1979,” she said.

When they were first married, Bill worked in the post office before becoming a mechanic at Wilksch’s Garage for 10 years.

He also worked at Yalumba, Angaston for many years, finishing up in 2005.

Both Bill and Barb have been volunteers within the Mount Pleasant community for most of their marriage.

They are Life Members of Mount Pleasant CFS. Bill was also an ambulance attendant for 22 years and caretaker of the Town Hall.

Barb delivered meals for Meals on Wheels for around 25 years, and worked in the Mount Pleasant Show office for almost 30 years.

When asked what they’ve enjoyed doing the most during their marriage, the answer was simply ‘ballroom dancing’.

The pair met at a ball, and carried on with dancing and even teaching throughout their many years together.

In between their work and volunteering, the pair loved to ‘sneak away’ in the caravan to places like Shepperton and Canberra.

“We find that now we’re both in our 80’s some of these trips are a bit far, so we just pick and choose where we go,” said Barb.

“We do like to think we’ve done a lot for the community over the many years. Now we chat to people on our block and do Christmas cards with our neighbours. 

“Age is against us now.”

Bill added, “The biggest problem is slowing down. My legs don’t work in the morning!”

These days, the pair admit their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren still keep them busy.

However Barb enjoys sewing or knitting, as well as reading or pottering in the garden.

Bill likes to go up into his shed/workshop to build ‘odds and ends’.

Barb and Bill describe themselves as ‘just a very married couple’.

“I really can’t believe we’ve reached 60 years. We haven’t had time to think about it going by,” said Barb.