Diamond joy for Spen pair

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A COUPLE from Spen have been celebrating 60 years of marriage.

A party took place at the couple’s home in Elland Road, Brighouse, last Saturday, and was attended by more than 30 guests as celebrations went on into the evening.

Pat, who is originally from Cleckheaton, said the party was a perfect opportunity to reflect on their 60 years of marriage.

She said: “Obviously, being married this long gives you many memories. We have been very happy, and it has certainly never been boring.

Pat, 20, first caught the eye of Derek, 24, who lived in Gomersal, when he used to meet with the Spen Valley bike club.

She said: “I used to pass Derek when I was on my way to the church. He noticed me first, and before long, we were dating.”

The two married at St John’s Church in Cleckheaton in 1952.

Pat said: “The church was absolutely packed, because I was involved with nearly everything that went on there.”

Derek worked as a draughtsman, while Pat worked as a non-teaching assistant at Hartshead Moor School.

The couple have two sons, Andy, 55, who now lives in north Wales and is a published author, and Simon, 51, who lives in Brighouse.

After spending more than 20 years together in Cleckheaton, the couple decided they needed a change, and moved to the sunnier climes of Polruan, Cornwall in the late 1970s, setting up a successful grocery business in the process.

“We used to have holidays in Cornwall, so when Derek got made redundant, we saw it as an ideal opportunity to move there,” said Pat.

The couple only stayed in Cornwall for a year, however, as the lure of West Yorkshire proved too much.

“There’s something about West Yorkshire that stays with you – I have a real soft-spot for Cleckheaton, and I became quite homesick, so it was wonderful to be able to move back. I’m glad we took the chance, but Yorkshire is our home,” added Pat.