Couple dust off dress to celebrate 50 happy years of marriage

Shop manager Kate McInnes, right, and golden wedding couple Lynn and David Ratcliffe, with Lynn's wedding dress in the window of the Forget Me Not Hospice charity shop, King Cross.
Shop manager Kate McInnes, right, and golden wedding couple Lynn and David Ratcliffe, with Lynn's wedding dress in the window of the Forget Me Not Hospice charity shop, King Cross.

A night of dancing led to 50 years of happy marriage for Shelf couple David and Madeleine Ratcliffe.

The pair, who were engaged within five weeks of meeting, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a party, followed by an open house with their treasured friends and family.

To mark the occasion, Mrs Ratcliffe, known as Lynne, decided to dust off her 50-year-old wedding dress to go on show at the party.

When friends asked staff at the Forget Me Not Hospice charity shop in King Cross, Halifax to borrow a mannequin in return for a donation, manager Kate McInnes agreed, and asked if the dress could also be part of a golden-themed window display.

“We wanted to do anything we could that might help the hospice,” said Mrs Ratcliffe.

Shoppers have been admiring the beautiful gown ever since.

The couple met on a night out at a dance hall in Bradford in November 1961, and were engaged that Christmas.

They married in the following September at St Stephen’s Church in Lindley on a Wednesday as Mrs Ratcliffe’s parents were publicans and found it difficult to take weekends off.

They lived in Bingley, and Lidget Green and Horton Bank Top in Bradford before moving to Shelf five years ago. Mr Ratcliffe was an engineer and had a firm- Ratcliffe Threaded Bar Services - which was based in Halifax. Mrs Ratcliffe worked for a legal firm in Bradford.

The pair have two sons - John and Paul, and four granddaughters - Amy, Katy and twins Jessica and Charlotte.

Mrs Ratcliffe said: “We have a wonderful family and friends who we have known almost as long as we have known each other.

“I don’t know of anythingmore important than having good family and friends in your life.”