My wife Betty and I first met in 1956, 54 years ago, and were married on Saturday
the 20th February 1960. I had celebrated my 21st birthday on the 3rd February and
joined Durham County Constabulary on the 15th. So February was a very busy
Over the years we moved house several times as I served at Jarrow, Felling on
Tyne, Hartlepool, Blackhall Colliery, Peterlee, Gateshead, and back to my birthplace
To celebrate our golden 50th wedding anniversary my wife and I went on a world
cruise earlier this year. Our silver 25th anniversary, Betty nearly didn’t make it as she
was rushed into hospital a short while before this date. Our ruby 40th anniversary
was my turn to be ill just before this date. What could go wrong this time?
The date of our anniversary was the 20th February but again we found that we had a
problem. You may recall that in ‘Around The World In 80 Days’ by Jules Verne that
the characters Phileas Fogg and Passerpartout gained a day by travelling from west
to east. The opposite applied in our case because we were travelling from east to
west we lost a day by crossing the International Date Line. It was ironic that in a
journey of 4 months the day that we lost was Saturday the 20th February. To make
up for it we celebrated on both Friday 19th and Sunday 21st February.
Over the past 54 years we have shared a variety of pastimes. One that we share at
the moment is cane exercise and cane defence. The purpose of this is that we keep
fit so we can celebrate our diamond anniversary, hopefully on the correct day.