Love that’s stood the test of time

'Overjoyed': Margaret and Joe Littlewood at their home in Parson Cross, will be celebrating their Diamond wedding anniversary in March.          picture: sarah washbourn
'Overjoyed': Margaret and Joe Littlewood at their home in Parson Cross, will be celebrating their Diamond wedding anniversary in March. picture: sarah washbourn
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Margaret and Joseph Littlewood, Knutton Road, Parson Cross.

IT MAY be 60 years since the wedding bells rang out for them at Middlewood Trinity Church, but Margaret and Joseph Littlewood still remember to exchange Valentine’s cards every February 14.

“It seems silly but we do,” said Margaret, now 77, who met Joseph, 82, while out for the day in Hillsborough Park.

“I was still at school, and Joe was training to be a mechanic at the time. He had to get my father’s consent to marry me two months short of my 18th birthday.”

Margaret worked at Cockayne’s department store on Angel Street, while Joseph spent 38 years in the rolling mills at Hatfield’s steelworks after completing his National Service.

Margaret finished her working days at Pond’s Forge, as a domestic manager, and Joseph gave up his last part-time job at a local car wash when he suffered a brain haemorrhage aged 74.

He spends his leisurely retirement walking and fishing.

“I’m overjoyed about our 60th anniversary,” said Margaret. “I never thought we’d reach it. We’ve had lots of ups and downs and illnesses but we’ve got through it all.

“I think it’s marvellous. I don’t know where the years have gone.”

The couple have a son and a daughter - Philip, 53, and Karen, 54 - and four grandchildren, as well as eight great-grandchildren.

The Littlewoods’ first great-great-grandchild is expected later this year, and they’re marking their anniversary with a party at the Jubilee Club on Claywheels Lane, and a seaside break in Blackpool.

“We’ve had such wonderful years,” Margaret said. “When we’ve had arguments we’ve always sorted them out. Young ones don’t seem to stick at it.”

Elizabeth and Ernest Shipley, Fraser Road, Woodseats.

ELIZABETH Shipley and her husband Ernest, of Fraser Road in Woodseats, are ‘very excited’ about marking their 60th wedding anniversary - and still make an effort to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Elizabeth, who turned 83 on Sunday, and Ernest, 81, tied the knot just months after meeting in 1951 when Ernest was stationed on Gibraltar as an RAF engineer.

“They’re really proud their marriage has lasted so long,” said their eldest daughter Liz Pickering, 58.

“They’ve just always been together - if they go anywhere, they’re always together.

“My dad always buys some red roses for my mum for Valentine’s Day and he’s bought her some diamond earrings and a necklace for their anniversary.”

Ernest was originally from Scunthorpe and Elizabeth was born in La Linea, Spain, where the pair met at a fun fair.

They married in February 1952 in Kings Chapel, Gibraltar, and Elizabeth moved to England the following June.

When Ernest left the RAF, they lived in Shiregreen and Wincobank before settling in Woodseats in 1960.

Ernest worked in the forge at the Ambrose-Shardlow steelworks in Blackburn, Rotherham, before being made redundant in his late 50s and taking a job at Gunstones bakery in Dronfield.

“My mum’s only ever had one job - she went to work at Gunstones for 12 weeks in 1982,” said Liz, who runs The Cranworth pub in Eastwood, Rotherham.

“She went there because two of her sisters were getting married within five months and she decided she needed a job.

“But my dad promised his mother-in-law that mum would never have to work, so he felt he’d broken that promise when she went and got a job.”

The Shipleys have four daughters - Liz, Mary, 55, Dorothy, 53, and Gloria, 51 - along with nine grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Liz said her dad is a keen betting man, and recently made the big decision to quit smoking 70 years after lighting up his first cigarette. “He says he feels better,” added Liz, who’s hosting an anniversary party for her parents at The Cranworth.

Rhoda and Edwin Newsum, Watkinson Gardens, Waterthorpe.

ACCORDING to Rhoda Newsum, who lives with husband Edwin in Watkinson Gardens, Waterthorpe, ‘give and take’ is the secret of a long marriage.

Rhoda, 80, and Edwin, 83, met at a dance at the Eckington Drill Hall as teenagers, and married three years later in March 1952.

“I suppose it’s a big achievement to get to 60 years,” said Rhoda.

“Everybody has their ups and downs but you’ve just got to give and take.

“We’ve been quite happy all our married years.”

Rhoda worked in the Robert Brothers department store in Sheffield when they wed, and also held jobs in a shoe shop and at Harold’s Furniture store on Snig Hill.

Edwin was a lorry driver for building firm Gleeson, and later set up a car hire company with his brother-in-law Edgar Myers.

The couple have two children - John, 56, who lives in Denmark, and Diane, 53, who’s emigrated to Florida.

They also have three grandchildren, and will be celebrating their milestone anniversary in America with Diane.

Betty and Wilfred Staniforth, Mauncer Crescent, Woodhouse.

BETTY and Wilfred Staniforth’s marriage is still going strong more than 60 years after they first met in a cinema queue as 14-year-olds.

Betty, 80, and Wilfred, 81, of Mauncer Crescent, Woodhouse, first set eyes on one another outside the Lyric picture house in Darnall.

“I went with a friend - he was at the front of the queue, we went and stood with him, and that’s how we met,” Betty said.

The couple married at Attercliffe Church in March 1952, when Betty was 20 and Wilfred was 21.

Betty said: “It was a very cold day, it was snowing. We were frozen to death, you don’t forget a day like that!”

Before they married, Wilfred was a gunner in the Royal Artillery, travelling the world visiting exotic locations including Hong Kong.

The avid Blades fan later worked at Craven’s steelworks in Darnall, and Betty worked in the packing department at Balfour’s carpets.

She also spent 32 years behind the counter at Dickinson’s newsagents on Chapel Street, Woodhouse, preparing each day’s deliveries on the early morning shift.

The couple have lived in Woodhouse for 45 years and, although they haven’t had children, they are planning a meal with their extended family at The White Rose pub in Handsworth.

“I feel really good about our diamond wedding,” Betty said.

“We’ve had a happy marriage, we’ve just kept going. We get on very well and we both have a fantastic sense of humour.”