Dance couple still in step after 60 years

STILL TOGETHER: 60 years on, Betty and Malcolm are as happy as ever. (d172a243)
STILL TOGETHER: 60 years on, Betty and Malcolm are as happy as ever. (d172a243)
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A COUPLE from Heckmondwike are celebrating a milestone anniversary this week, as they enter their 60th year of marriage.

Malcolm and Betty Whitworth, of Crowther Road, celebrated their diamond wedding yesterday, and put the length of their marriage down to their passion for sharing interests.

Malcolm, 77, met Betty, 79, back in 1950, when Malcolm was 15 years old.

“I was on a holiday in Blackpool with my mum. My best friend had just gone to do national service so I was feeling a bit down in the dumps,” he said.

“We were there for a few days and I wasn’t cheering up – I was all set for going back home, but my mum said that she had organised for us to go to the ballroom at the Winter Gardens – I liked dancing, so I decided to stay.

“When I went onto the dance floor, I recognised a girl from the dance hall in Batley that I used to visit, so I asked for a dance, and found out she was from Liversedge – so we started courting from there, and we haven’t looked back since.”

The couple were married in 1952 at Liversedge Parish Church after courting for two years and four months. They had three children, Steven (now 59), Gary (54) and Craig (49).

After leaving school, Malcolm became a joiner, and set up his own business, Whitworth’s, where his two youngest sons worked. Betty was an office worker for a carpet company, before becoming a cleaner for Kirklees Council.

She said: “We have always done everything together, and everything we do is with each other. We have always enjoyed our holidays, and South Africa is one of our favourite places to go.”

Malcolm added: “I did two years in the army on national service – but we waited for each other, and that’s when we knew we should be together. We have had a great life together.”