Brierfield couple Ronnie and Joyce Wilkinson are celebrating their Diamond Wedding anniversary.
Ronnie first met Joyce at a pub with a friend who worked with her in the mill, then again when Ronnie picked up Joyce and took her to his 21st birthday party. They were then married in September, 1953, at St Catherine’s Church in Todmorden Road, Burnley.
Ronnie, now 83, had a butcher’s shop on Hurtley Street in Burnley for many years, moving home to Brierfield, where they have lived for 55 years.
Joyce stayed at home to bring up their six children. Lynne, Susan and David still live in the area, Paul lives in Yorkshire with his family, Gail lives in Melbourne, Australia, and Heather lives in Nelson – but it is the one in New Zealand not next to Brierfield!
Ronnie had a butcher’s shop in Nelson’s Open Market in Cross Street for more than 30 years until its closure.
One of their biggest interests in life is obvious. Susan said: “They have been keen horse race fans. They used to be involved in horse racing – with two horses of their own.”
They spent three months visiting their family last Christmas in both Australia and New Zealand, seeing grandchildren and great-grandchildren they had never met. .
Joyce (80) is meeting her half-sisters soon – Susan, who is flying in from Queensland in Australia, and also Sharon. It will be the first time they have all met in 45 years. Daughter Susan Hacking said: “They are spending their anniversary with friends and family, some of their 14 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.”
So they are having a great time – last Thursday there was a big family do with everyone congratulating them on their successful marriage.