Love still sparkles after 60 years for Burnley couple

Burnley couple John and Margaret Gilmartin are celebrating 60 years of married life together.
Burnley couple John and Margaret Gilmartin are celebrating 60 years of married life together.
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A couple, who are celebrating 60 years of marriage, are hoping this anniversary will be a quieter affair than their golden wedding.

For John and Margaret Gilmartin were on board a cruise ship touring the world when it was chased by Somalian pirates!

John and Margaret on their wedding day 60 years ago.

John and Margaret on their wedding day 60 years ago.

The experience hasn't put the Burnley couple off life on the high seas though as they are planning another cruise to mark their diamond anniversary this month.

The couple, who have three granddaughters, Kate (34) Meghann (19) and 17-year-old Erin, met through a mutual friend in Chapel-en-le-Frith in Derbyshire where John was working as the manager of a painting and decorating department for the Co-op and Margaret was a research chemist for Ferodo.

After tying the knot the couple went on to have three daughters, Karen, Suzanne and Colette and a son Bernard who died in 1990.

After being a full time mum to the children Margaret became a physics teacher, working at the former St Hilda's RC High School in Burnley and also Notre Dame in Blackburn and Rawtenstall's Alder Grange High School.

Along with being a painter and decorater John worked as a sales rep for specialist commercial vehicles and he launched a variety of retail ventures including running a confectionery stall and a sandwich shop.

He also had a stint as a joiner and his skills in handy for DIY tasks, particularly woodwork where John can turn his hand to making anything, from tables, stools and bowls to elaborate bird boxes and feeders.

A talented drummer, John accompanied several artistes at clubs across Lancashire back in the day.

He also has something of a reputation of a thrill seeker as last year he did a tandem sky dive to raise the fantastic amount of £7,500 for the Macmillan Cancer charity.

That experience has fuelled John's adventure seeking side as he now wants to fly a glider with Erin.

Margaret's hobbies involve being rather more grounded as she loves sewing, knitting and most kinds of needlework. When her family were younger she made clothes for her children and grandchildren.

More recently Margaret has started creative embroidery classes and she is also learning to speak Spanish.

She also loves classical music and is a regular attendee at a variety of ladies' luncheon clubs.