Kettering couple's dance hall encounter leads to 60 years of happy marriage

They're celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary today

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 7:00 am
Charlie and June Sweeney, pictured on their wedding day and in recent times.

A Kettering couple who hit it off at a Saturday night dance are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary today (Thursday).

It was an evening in the late 1950s when Charlie and June Sweeney first clapped eyes on each other on the dancefloor in Corby.

By March 4, 1961, they were married and, five children and 60 years later, they are still as happy as ever.

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June, 78, said: "In those days you used to go to Saturday night dances at Raven Hall in Corby and that's how we met.

"We hit it off, danced together and we both loved it. We carried on meeting up and it just blossomed."

After courting for more than a year they wed at Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church in Occupation Road, Corby, having a reception at June's parents' house.

They then celebrated by going dancing with all of their friends in Northampton.

Years later they moved to the London Road area of Kettering, where they have lived for the past 55 years.

Charlie, who is 83 and originally from Ireland, worked in demolishing steelworks. June, who hails from Harringworth, held roles at an opticians and an office before starting her own catering firm, later retiring at 60.

The couple have five children - Patrick, Lynn, Carole, Therese and Marie - as well as nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Covid restrictions have left them unable to have a party and they will instead enjoy small-scale celebrations.

But what's their secret to 60 years of happy marriage?

June said: "We just work well together and we both enjoy a bit of gardening.

"It's a partnership. That's the way it's always been and still is now."

June, a big fan of the Royal family, said their congratulatory card from Her Majesty The Queen will take pride of place at their home.

The couple's youngest child, Marie Ainge, said: "We are all really proud of them and they have always been there for us and supported us.

"Dad is a meat and two veg man and mum is more fine dining - they are a little bit different but they just work really, really well together."