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Birch Vale couple celebrate 60 years of marriage

Jim & Marlene Arrowsmith of Birch Vale who are celebrating a diamond wedding anniversary, Birch Vale, United Kingdom, 16th September 2018. Photo by Glenn Ashley.
Jim & Marlene Arrowsmith of Birch Vale who are celebrating a diamond wedding anniversary, Birch Vale, United Kingdom, 16th September 2018. Photo by Glenn Ashley.

A Birch Vale couple who had “wanted to grow old together” are today (Thursday) celebrating 60 years of marriage.

Jim and Marlene Arrowsmith used to work together at the Grove Paper Mill in New Mills.

Romance blossomed and they courted for three years before tying the knot on September 20, 1958.

Jim said: “I always wanted to grow old with her and we have been lucky to have 60 wonderful years together, long may it continue.”

The couple’s first date was to see a show in Manchester and they remained together despite moving jobs.

Jim, originally from Glossop, was commuting without a car to New Mills and was finding it difficult so found a job closer to home.

The 82-year-old said: “I’d already fallen for Marlene and didn’t want it to end so we found a way to make it work.”

Jim was called up for National Service but was posted in the UK so was able to come home and visit Marlene some weekends. Marlene, now 81, recalls Jim’s proposal. She said: “He didn’t get down on one knee or anything romantic like that. He proposed on the bus to Glossop.”

The couple, who have lived on Hayfield Road, Birch Vale, for more than 50 years, were married at the Methodist Church in Newtown.

Marlene said: “My dress was beautiful, it was lace over taffeta and had a full skirt.

“We didn’t have a car so our honeymoon was only in Blackpool, but we had a lovely time.”

Since then the duo have enjoyed many holidays together, including Spain, Greece and Tunisia, and have visited America three times.

Marlene said: “We have rowed, every couple does, but you learn to smooth things over and carry on, that’s what makes a marriage work.”

Jim added: “We just get on so well even after all these years. She’s there for me and I’m there for her.”

Marlene and Jim have two children, four grandchildren and a great grandchild.

They plan to celebrate the milestone with a small family meal – having held a big party for their golden wedding anniversary ten years ago.