An inseparable couple whose eyes met across a crowded dance floor celebrated 60 years of marriage with a surprise party.
Family and friends joined Gerald and Maureen Gunson at their flat in Woodhouse after their daughter Susan organised the surprise.
Maureen said: “It was a nice surprise to see so many people and we’ve got a card from the queen.”
The pair – both aged 83 – met in 1950 through mutual friends at a dance at Frecheville Community Centre.
“I think one of my friends knew some of his friends and we made a date for the pictures all together,” said Maureen.
“It wasn’t really true love at first sight though.”
But Gerald said: “I can remember what she was wearing. It was white blouse and a dirndell skirt.”
The soulmates opened a fish and chip shop together on Abbeydale Road, where they worked together for over two decades.
Maureen said: “Fortunately we get on well together. The secret to a happy marriage is that you respect your partner’s views.”
“I’m fortunate having someone like him, he is very placid and he never loses his temper.”
The pair were married at St Cyprian’s church in Frecheville with Maureen wearing a handmade wedding dress.
They lived next door to the church for most of their married lives before moving to a retirement apartment in Woodhouse five years ago.
Gerald worked in the printing business for 20 years before they opened the fish and chip shop and Maureen did office work until the couple had their two children, Susan and Robert. They have three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
The pair have many of shared interests and ran a dance together at Frecheville Community Centre where they first met and went walking together and with friends in a group they called ‘the Wrinklies’ – due to the average age of its members.
Maureen and Gerald also travelled the world and in the 1980s did a ‘grand tour of Europe’.
They visited Venice, Rome Pompeii and Florence among other locations.
Gerald said: “I think it was our favourite trip together.”
Daughter Susan Rose,58, said: “They have always looked after everyone else in the family and have put other people first.”