Sheffield couple who met while roller skating celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary

A Sheffield couple who met at a city roller skating rink have just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 1:14 pm

Kenneth and Sheila Webster were married at St Aidan’s Church on City Road in Sheffield on December 23, 1961 and celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary quietly at home in Longley.

Kenneth, who turns 84 in January, was born on the Manor Estate and Sheila, 77, is from Pitsmoor. Kenneth said: “We met at a roller skating rink in Attercliffe. Her friend Gwen took her and my pal pushed me on going on roller skates, I wasn’t bothered.

“Eventually I was introduced through Gwen to my wife.”

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Sheila Webster at home in Longley, Sheffield with a diamond wedding anniversary gift of a necklace from her husband Kenneth

Their friendship eventually blossomed into a romance and then marriage. Kenneth recalled that they hadn’t much money, so they had a reception at a hall across the road, then went to the New Inn on Duke Street for a few drinks.

Kenneth said: “We left before the others and on the way home we called at a pie shop near the library. We had pie and peas and Sheila was still in her wedding dress. We ate them on the way home. That was our caviar job!”

Early in their marriage they managed to get an old pit house in North Anston and Kenneth had to ride 10-11 miles to work on his motorbike.

The house had an outside toilet and no hot water and Kenneth remembered it was a big day when they managed to afford an Ascot water heater.

Kenneth and Sheila Webster, who were married in December 1961, celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary at home in Longley, Sheffield

He fondly remembers family holidays to Bridlington, travelling by motorbike and sidecar.

They moved around the city before finally settling at their present home.

Kenneth worked at various jobs in the cutlery and edge tools industry and at Darnall steelworks Sanderson Kayser, before getting a job at garden and hand tool firm Spear and Jackson as a chargehand.

Then “thanks to Margaret Thatcher and her kind heart, me and thousands more ended up on the scrap heap. That was in 1982.”

Sheila Webster and her bridesmaids on her wedding day at St Aidan's Church in Sheffield in December 1961 - she and husband Kenneth have just celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary

Kenneth reveals his secret to a long, happy marriage

Kenneth never managed to return to work, despite several attempts at retraining and taking on voluntary work with a charity, and eventually retired when he was 60.

His interests include photography and he sometimes sends his pictures into The Star for publication.

Kenneth is also Sheila’s main carer.

Kenneth and Sheila Webster on their wedding day on December 23, 1961 at St Aidan's Church, Sheffield

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Sheila worked as a buffer girl and cutlery box maker until the couple had their family, daughters Kathleen and Helen and son Kenneth. They also have five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Daughter Helen Gamban is hoping to be married at St Aidan’s Church next August, Covid permitting.

Kenneth summed up the couple’s recipe for a happy marriage: “We get married and set off on a journey on the ship of life.

“The journey can be perilous but you’re generally sailing in fine weather. If you’re lucky you find a treasure chest but the biggest treasure chest is how you care for each other, and in sickness and in health.

“Marriages have been scrapped because too many want to jump out of the boat and go home.”