Sheffield lad’s invite was no April fool

Dorothy and George Smalley celebrate their Diamond Wedding
Dorothy and George Smalley celebrate their Diamond Wedding
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When Sheffield lad George Smalley chose April Fool’s Day to ask his dream girl out for the first time, she feared it could be a prank.

Fortunately for Dorothy McKay, the object of her affections was deadly serious about her and still remains devoted after 60 years of wedded bliss.

The pair met as teenagers at a youth club run by Queen’s Road Congregational Church.

Two years later, they tied the knot at the church – the bride in a chiffon velvet gown made by her aunt.

Dorothy, aged 79, said: “George was from Intake and we’d met at the youth club. He tracked me down to the bakery I was working at in Walkley to ask me out.

“It was April 1 so I nearly said no, but I’m glad I didn’t.”

George, 82, and Dorothy went on to have five children – three boys and two girls.

George worked at Samuel Osborn steelworks and later as a caretaker at Shirebrook School while his wife worked as an auxiliary nurse at the Northern General.

And their big family – now 15 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren – were around to toast their diamond wedding anniversary.

They went out for a big family meal before staff at their Stradbroke residential home Brigadier Hargreaves Court threw them a party attended by the Lord Mayor.

Daughter Diane Wild, 55, of Woodhouse, said: “It was a lovely surprise for them. They had no idea I’d arranged for the Lord Mayor to come.”

The couple spent much of their retirement enjoying holidays and up until five years ago enjoyed regular trips to their caravan in Cleethorpes.

Dorothy said: “We had a lovely time, it was fantastic. We’re still very happily married.”