Stanion diamond anniversary couple to celebrate with a family takeaway

Mary and Jim Ward received a card from The Queen
Mary and Jim Ward received a card from The Queen

A Stanion couple will celebrate 60 years of marriage with their family and a Chinese meal.

Corby pioneers Mary and Jim Ward met at the weekly Old Time Music dance at the Co-op Hall in the their home town.

Mary and Jim Ward, married in Corby on September, 12 1959

Mary and Jim Ward, married in Corby on September, 12 1959

Jim, then 23, was just finishing his National Service with the RAF when he first danced with the 17-year-old Mary.

Mary was working in Boots the Chemist in Rockingham Road and Jim was ready to take up a role as a mechanical engineer at Stewarts & Lloyds steelworks.

After a three-year courtship, Jim got on his bended knee and proposed to Mary at Christmas.

The couple married on September 12, 1959, at the Church of Scotland in Occupation Road with Mary’s two sisters Susan and Barbara and best friend Muriel as bridesmaids.

Mary and Jim Ward

Mary and Jim Ward

Mary, 80, said: “It was a lovely warm sunny day. My bouquet was roses and white heather to reflect our Scottish heritage.

“We didn’t have an evening reception, you didn’t in those days.”

Jim and Mary went on to have three children, Chris, Jeff and Julie, who all live very near their parents.

Fitting their jobs around the children, Mary worked as a milk roundswoman, getting up at 3am and returning in time for Jim to get to the steelworks.

When his section of the works closed in 1980 life became trickier for the family with Jim, now a draughtsman, having to find work where he could away from home.

Jim, 86, said: “It was awful, but we needed to keep the family together. Then I got a job at Timsons in Kettering where our two boys worked.

“It was a real family affair - Mary’s sister worked there too.”

They are now grandparents to Thomas, Zara, Callum, Ross and Abbey with one great-granddaughter, Thea Pearl.

Mary added: “Our family is our life. They are always popping in and come here every year for Christmas Day.

“They love coming to see us so we must have done something right.

““We count our blessings, support each other, look after one another and give and take.

The couple will be celebrating with their family tonight with a Chinese takeaway.