A TIDESWELL couple’s moving love story proves that there’s no place like home.
In fact it’s so homely on Whitecross Road that Wilf and Freda Oven have spent their entire married life there – all 70 years and counting – residing in three different houses all next to each other on the same street.
“We have lived in this house for 15 years, we spent 22 years next door and then 33 years in the end house, as they all belonged to the family,” explained Wilf, 94, on the eve of the couple’s platinum wedding anniversary.
Wilf and Freda first met at Sunday school at the High Street Methodist Chapel, and were married at the same church on March 1, 1941.
Born in Grassmoor, Wilf was employed at Tideswell Weaving Mill before working on the railways for 40 years, as a porter, passenger guard and foreman, before retiring as chargeman at Peak Forest. He is believed to be one of the few surviving employees of the former Miller’s Dale Station, which shut in 1967.
Wilf was also a part-time farmer and was the secretary of Tideswell and Litton Cow Club for 30 years.
Freda, 89, has been a life-long Tideswell resident, working as a shop assistant at Hancocks bakery shop before her marriage. She was also a member of Tideswell WI.
A big family celebration at Sickleholme Golf Club to mark the happy day is now planned for the doting couple, who have three children, seven grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
Asked what was the secret of their long marriage, Freda replied: “We have been good companions. We don’t have much trouble.
“We still enjoy getting out and about as much as we can and seeing our family and friends.”