Childhood sweethearts who met at Sheffield's Grand Hotel in the 40s celebrate platinum wedding anniversary

A couple who first met as employees at Sheffield’s Grand Hotel in the 1940s are celebrating their 70th Wedding anniversary this week.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 10:09 am
Maureen and Dennis Wilson celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: Chris Etchells

Dennis Wilson, aged 89 and Maureen Wilson, 88, of Norton Lees in Sheffield will celebrate 70 long years of marriage on April 7.

The couple first set eyes on each other at the Grand Hotel in Sheffield during the 1940s when Mr Wilson worked as a page boy, and his wife was a lift girl.

Mr Wilson said: “My wife and I have been married for 70 years on April 7.

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Maureen and Dennis Wilson. Picture: Chris Etchells

“I met my wife at the Grand Hotel in Sheffield when I was 14 years old and employed as a page boy, and my wife was a lift girl.

“My wage was 12 shillings a week, but the tips I earned carrying customers' bags were very good.”

During his time working at hotels, Mr Wilson polished Winston Churchill's shoes and carried his bags; he also opened the doors for Princess Anne and met many different influential figures and celebrities, including The Beatles and Manfred Mann.

He added: “I later became head porter of the Grand Hotel, and when it closed, I transferred to the Grosvenor Hotel, Charter Square, as a head porter and one of my recollections is of Manfred Mann staying there.

Maureen and Dennis Wilson pictured at school. Picture: Chris Etchells

“One of the group, I cannot remember which one, was having a shower, and a diamond earring came loose and went down the plughole. He was very upset as it was given to him by his girlfriend.

"I and the maintenance man went to his room and undid the u-bend under the shower, and the diamond earring popped out. He was so grateful he gave me and the maintenance man £50 each and a signed record of the band, which I still have.”

Maureen worked as a lift girl at the Grand Hotel and later worked as a telephonist inside the hotel before having two children and starting a new job at Presto Tools.

The couple from Sheffield got married at the Town Hall in 1951 when Mr Wilson was in the army.

They have one daughter (Sue) and had a son (David), who sadly passed away, aged 48.

The couple also have three grandsons as well as two great-grandsons, and two great-granddaughters.

Sue Lloyd recalls many happy memories as a family, saying: “We had Easter holidays together.

"Dad couldn’t drive, so we’d get on the train and get a caravan for two weeks.

"We’ve got some beautiful photos; I had a lovely childhood.”

The family will celebrate the big day on Wednesday by heading to a popular beauty spot in the Peak District to enjoy an afternoon tea in a private garden.

Susan said: “I’m taking them out to Castleton on Wednesday to have an afternoon tea in a friend’s garden.

"We can’t have a big party like we did for the golden one but nevertheless.

“We’ve also brought the photos down from when it was their diamond anniversary along with a card from the Queen.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.

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