Diamond celebration for Bolton-le-Sands couple

Joe and Mary Hart celebrating their diamond wedding with a 50s style theme with relatives and friends at the Scarthwaite Hotel.
Joe and Mary Hart celebrating their diamond wedding with a 50s style theme with relatives and friends at the Scarthwaite Hotel.

A couple from Bolton-le-Sands marked their Diamond Wedding with a fifties themed party at the weekend.

Joe and Mary Hart married in London on August 3 1953.

The couple, now both 83, moved back to Joe’s native north west a short time later, settling in Bolton-le-Sands.

Joe was born in Melbourne Road, Lancaster, in 1929, before moving to Damside Street where his parents had the ‘Open All Hours’ shop, Western Stores.

He attended Cathedral School and then Preston Catholic College.

Joe and Mary met in London when Joe was looking for lodgings for his first teaching job after leaving Strawberry Hill College, Twickenham.

He called on the parish priest to ask for help, where Mary, a true Cockney and tailoress by day, was preparing the priest’s evening meal.

They were married 14 months later at St Edmund’s Church, Millwall, enjoying a honeymoon in France.

In 1958 the couple moved to Bolton-le-Sands, having spent two years in London and three years in Silsden, Yorkshire.

They have lived there ever since, bringing up their seven children – Joseph, Vincent, Edmund, Teresa, Michael, Elizabeth and Catherine.

The family had a smallholding at their home, keeping poultry and a herd of goats.

Joe taught at Cathedral Secondary School, St Joseph’s, before becoming head at The Moor Hospital School and a Preston special school, while Mary taught night school classes in tailoring, dressmaking and various handicrafts.

Now retired, Joe and Mary enjoy a variety of activities including yoga and pilates, gardening and spending time with their children and 13 grandchildren.

Joe also went back to university after retiring, studing for a degree in French.

“We have plenty to keep us busy,” Mary said.

The couple’s diamond anniversary was celebrated on Saturday with a 50s themed tea dance, with speciality singer Lilli de Carlo, at the Scarthwaite Hotel, Caton.

One of the couple’s original bridesmaids was present and the other three joined in the celebration via Skype calls.

On Sunday there was also a special celebration mass at St Mary of the Angels, Bolton-le-Sands, followed by coffee and cakes with the parish.

Mary puts the couple’s long and happy marriage down to never giving up.

“You just carry on and don’t let things phase you,” she said.

“You don’t give up at the first little thing. Everyone has their bad times and it certainly wasn’t easy bringing up seven children, but we have been very lucky.”