A COUPLE have reflected on their 60 years of wedded bliss as they celebrate their diamond anniversary.
Peter and Dorothy Hawkes, of Cold Overton Road, Oakham, married at Clipston Baptist Church near Market Harborough on March 15, 1952, and spent much of their married life in Leicestershire before retiring to Rutland in 1997.
At the time they sacrificed their chance to take a honeymoon to allow Dorothy’s widowed mother to enjoy a holiday with one of her friends instead. The couple looked after her house and even did a spot of decorating for her along with enjoying a few day trips.
Peter, 81, remembers the day they met at a social event in Harborough. He was living in Lubenham at the time and Dorothy lived in Clipston.
He said: “I thought she was attractive and she must have thought I was handsome.
“We used to see each other at weekends after that. At the time I only had a cycle so I was travelling on the bus until I saved up enough money for a motorbike, which made it a bit easier.”
“Dorothy was so young looking that when we went for days out, she would be charged a child’s fee.”
In keeping with tradition, the couple dated for two years before tying the knot.
Dorothy, 80, said: “It was a very cold day.”
The couple would rather have married in the summer but at the time, couples who got married before the end of the financial year were able to claim back all the income tax they had paid that year.
After the wedding the couple lived with Dorothy’s mother for three years before starting a family and moving to their family home in Naseby.
Peter worked for two agricultural contractors before setting up as a window cleaner and Dorothy worked in a village garden looking after horses, dogs and chickens.
She gave up work to look after the children, Susan and Jane, while Peter later worked as a foreman and for the highways department at Northamptonshire County Council. They also had their own smallholding.
The couple also have two grandchildren, Naomi and Hannah.
They will be joined by the family for an anniversary meal at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel on Saturday.
Their bridesmaid Joyce Smith (nee Maddock) and her husband will also attend.
Reflecting on their marriage, Peter said: “Years ago when you got married you made a serious commitment and if things went wrong, you worked to fix them.
“We’ve had our ups and down’s but we’re still here and we’re still in good health.”