Burnley family’s 120-year marriage milestone

Paul and Georgina McCarren, married 50 years, with Jim and Nellie McCarren, of Burnley, marriedf 70 years
Paul and Georgina McCarren, married 50 years, with Jim and Nellie McCarren, of Burnley, marriedf 70 years

Wedded bliss has a habit of staying around in the McCarren family.

Mum and dad Nellie (89) and Jim (88) have been together for 70 years, and their eldest son, Paul, and his wife Georgina, both 69, celebrated their golden anniversary a couple of weeks ago.

70th anniversary 'Jim and Nellie  McCarren

70th anniversary 'Jim and Nellie McCarren

The Second World War had been over for just a month when Jim and Nellie tied the knot at Burnley Register Office. Money was tight, so Jim, who served in Egypt, wore his uniform. Nellie made her own knee-length dress, and her dad made her shoes. Jim’s mum saved up ration coupons for their d-i-y reception and their honeymoon was a day out in Blackpool.

Romance had blossomed three years earlier at Burnley’s roller-skating rink, and after they were married they set up home in the town.

Both left school when they were 14 and Nellie became a machinist. Hard-working Jim learned upholstery and was still putting in full shifts until he retired six years ago, aged 82.

He worked for several major concerns before eventually opening his own business, Brierfield Furnishers, which he ran for many years.

50th anniversary'Paul and Georgina McCarren

50th anniversary'Paul and Georgina McCarren

It was Jim’s work that led the couple leave the town in the 1960s and take their five children, Paul, Keith, Susan, Philip and Nigel to make a new home in Bolton. The family returned to Burnley in 1969 but Paul stayed.

By then, he had met the love of his life, Georgina, and they had been married for four years. Their big day was a little more grand than mum and dad’s, with Georgina wearing a full-length scalloped-edged gown overlayed with lace and carring a beautiful bouquet.

Jim and Nellie were married on October 3rd, 1945, and Paul and Georgina on August 21st, 1965. Their platinum and golden anniversaries were celebrated at a family party, with 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Today, Jim and Nellie enjoy a quiet life at their home in Atrium Court, Burnley. Neither has ever either smoked or drunk, and Jim says, with a twinkle, that the secret to a happy married life is to always agree with his wife.