Sparkler of a day for Bonfire Night couple

Diamond wedding couple Raymond and Irene Smith at their home in West Vale
Diamond wedding couple Raymond and Irene Smith at their home in West Vale

MARRIAGE is still spark-ling for a couple who met on Bonfire Night 61 years ago.

Irene and Raymond Smith of Little Bradley, Greetland, were celebrating their diamond wedding today.

They met in the Saddle pub, Halifax, in 1950 after Raymond, who had been stationed in Egypt between 1947 and 1949, came to Halifax to meet up with a pal he met during National Service.

“It was just one of those things,” said Raymond.

After three months of courting, they went on to marry in Wainstalls Chapel on a snowy February day.

The ceremony was delayed by an hour after the late arrival of the registrar. To keep warm Irene’s dad took Raymond to a nearby pub – leaving his bride-to-be waiting in the cold.

After the unscheduled delay, they went on to tie the knot at a small family ceremony.

Hours after their wedding, they returned to Raymond’s home town of Nottingham, where he was a bus conductor.

The couple had been planning a move to New Zealand.

Their paperwork was signed, but Irene fell pregnant with daughter Elizabeth, putting their plan on hold.

They moved back to Yorkshire and both worked in factories for many years, with Raymond working at Black Dyke Mills.

Irene also worked as a domestic at Halifax Infirmary for 12 years.

They lived in Queens Road, Siddal and later Queensbury before moving to Bridlington.

Before they moved to the seaside, Raymond, a British Legion member, took over as president of Siddal Ex-Servicemen’s club.

Now living in Greetland, Raymond said their long-lasting marriage was down to plenty of “give and take”.

They will celebrate their milestone with a family meal including older daughter Janet and their four grandchildren.