Bring out your bunting for diamond extravanganza

Residents at Newgate Close in High Green are starting preparations for a Diamond Jubilee party. Ron and Joan Ashton, back, pictured with residents alll in their nineties, from left Marie Matthewman, 93. Kathleen Dick, 91 and Gertrude Shaw, 93
Residents at Newgate Close in High Green are starting preparations for a Diamond Jubilee party. Ron and Joan Ashton, back, pictured with residents alll in their nineties, from left Marie Matthewman, 93. Kathleen Dick, 91 and Gertrude Shaw, 93
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TALK about a right Royal celebration...

The Queen may be marking her very own Jubilee year in 2012 but one Sheffield neighbourhood is going that little bit further – with three couples reaching at least 60 years of marriage.

And all the residents of Newgate Close, High Green, are planning to celebrate national pride, their own milestones and Her Majesty’s with a special party in the community hall nearby.

Our Jubilee sweethearts are Hilda and Wallis Cassell, Raymond and Rene Hoyland and Margaret and Alf Rodgers, who have gone one better after reaching their 61st wedding anniversary on March 17.

Retired factory worker Margaret, aged 83, and ex-miner Alf, 85, said the forthcoming celebrations would have a ‘great atmosphere’.

Margaret added: “We will all muck in to help out when it gets going.

“We’re fans of the Queen, she’s better than a dictator anyway!

“It is quite unusual to have three couples in here having diamond wedding anniversaries in the same year, we were surprised to hear it.”

Residents are preparing to bring out the bunting and meeting regularly to decide what events they will include in the big day on June 5.

Hilda, 85, and Wallis Cassell met dancing in Chapeltown and hope there will be music after reaching their anniversary on March 22.

Wallis, 81, said: “The Jubilee is really important to celebrate.

“We have got a lot to celebrate here at Newgate Close.

“We can’t dance now of course but hopefully there will be some music.”

Raymond and Rene Hoyland, who marked their diamond anniversary back on February 29, are hoping for balloons and fun.

Rene, 85, said: “I like the Queen, she’s about my age and I have a lovely picture of her too. Hopefully there will be lots of balloons and things at the Jubilee party. We are really looking forward to it.”

Entertainment, food and reminiscing with old photographs and newspapers are some of the ideas mooted for the extravaganza. Organiser Joan Ashton, 73, said young people were being recruited to help people out of their homes and those who couldn’t make it would have a special packed lunch served.

Joan - who has been married to Ron, 77, for 49 years - said: “We want it to be for everyone who lives here because a lot of people can’t get out.

“Most people are really supportive of the Queen and the Royal family - and hopefully even those who aren’t will still come along! It makes it pretty special that three of the couples on the estate have been married at least 60 years themselves.”