Persistence paid off for Sheffield pensioner Ted Bailey.
Nancy Bailey first caught her future husband’s eye while she was a teenager, reciting a poem in the local church in Attercliffe.
Desperate to get to know her, Ted returned to the church every Sunday for the next three weeks in the hope of seeing her again, but to no avail.
However, he met her by chance on Attercliffe Common soon after and the couple began courting, but even then the former Navy man had to wait until Nancy was 21 for her father to allow them to marry in Gleadless Church.
Now, more than six decades on, they are still going strong and celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary yesterday.
Nancy, 81, said: “I was 18 when we started courting and my father wasn’t too keen at first because there were seven years between us. When Ted asked if he could marry me he said he had to wait until I was 21, so that’s what we did.
“We’ve gone on to have children, grandchildren and lots of lovely friends.”
With four children – three girls and a boy – Nancy stayed at home while Ted, now 88, went out to work, first in Sheffield’s steelworks and later as a decorator. Once her children were grown up, Nancy had a job with British Rail and then enjoyed working as a dinnerlady at Birley Spa Primary School.
Both Sheffield born and bred, they spent early married life on Scowerdons Farm Estate in the city. They moved to their current home in Beighton 22 years ago.
The pair, who have four grandchildren and a step grandchild, plan to celebrate 60 years of wedded bliss with a meal with their youngest daughter and her children. This will then be followed by a blessing service and a party with family and friends.
Nancy said: “We’re looking forward to having all of our friends and family together.
“It feels like a special year to be celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.”