From love-struck teens to best friends in their 90s - Sheffield couple celebrate 75th wedding anniversary

The Lord Mayor and Lord Mayoress present a card to Edna and Harry Ducker, who are celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary with a card from the Queen. Picture: Andrew Roe

The Lord Mayor and Lord Mayoress present a card to Edna and Harry Ducker, who are celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary with a card from the Queen. Picture: Andrew Roe

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They met by chance as teenagers more than 80 years ago and married during World War II.

Now a Sheffield couple have celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary – with a party involving friends, family and two of their original bridesmaids.

Harry and Edna Ducker were joined by more than 50 people, including bridesmaids Irene Short and Doreen Windle, as they celebrated the incredible landmark last week.

Also among the guests were Lord Mayor of Sheffield Councillor Peter Rippon, who dropped in to the packed party to pass on his congratulations.

The pair were also proud to receive a congratulations card from The Queen to honour their achievement.

The party took place at their home in Callow Mount retirement housing in Heeley.

Edna and Harry also had their 75 years of marriage blessed by the Rev Lilian Clesham.

The pair, who are both now aged 95, first met when they were 15 outside Highfield library.

They initially arranged to go on a double date with friends – but with Harry first going out with Edna’s friend, and Edna agreeing to date Harry’s friend.

But when they were the only two of the group to turn up to their second date, love blossomed between the pair.

They married at St Mary’s Church, Bramall Lane, on February 17, 1940. Edna’s father was originally against the marriage, as he thought the couple were too young to wed.

The couple had little time to enjoy their start to married life, as Harry was fighting in the war, with his military exploits taking in the campaigns in North Africa and Italy.

During the war, Edna also acted as a volunteer air-woman, helping to get people to safety during German bombing raids on Sheffield.

The pair had their first child, Valerie, in 1942 and their second girl, Jean, in 1948.

They now have six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, but eldest daughter Valerie sadly died around 15 years ago.

After the war, Harry worked in a number of jobs including as a bus driver, while the family settled in a house on Marlborough Road, Crookesmoor.

For their 70th wedding anniversary five years ago, the pair took part in a special service to renew their vows at the same church.

Edna said the secret to their successful married life has been their fondness for each other.

“We are honest with each other and we love each other. There are not really any arguments,” she said.

She said it was brilliant so many relatives and friends had joined in with their celebrations.

“It is absolutely wonderful that so many friends and family are here,” she said.

Granddaughter Charmaine Myers said the pair have always been the best of friends since getting together all those years ago.

She said: “They met at Highfield library when they were 15. I think they were going somewhere out of the rain and they were with friends.

“The four of them got chatting and grandad went on a date with one of nan’s friends and vice versa. But only nan and grandad turned up for the second date. It transpired they were more interested in each other than the others!

“They got married just before their 21st birthdays.

“Grandad went off to fight in North Africa when the war started and they decided to get married.

“He went off to fight straight away and he had a weekend pass to get married.

“Edna’s father didn’t support their marriage, as he thought they were too young and it wouldn’t last!

“He did some more training in Catterick and then was sent out to North Africa.

“For their 70th wedding anniversary, we all went back and they retook their vows.”

Charmaine said the pair both have had lots of interests over the years, with Edna helping to run a local youth club in Middlewood and Harry previously volunteering for St John Ambulance.

“They are both very community-minded.”

Charmaine said it was no surprise there were so many well-wishers at the party to congratulate her grandparents.

She said: “They have been together for 80 years and they work very well as a team. They would describe themselves as best friends. They are fabulous people and make long-lasting friendships.”

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