A Wetherby couple are marking not just St Patrick’s Day, but the day they got married 60 years ago today (March 17).
Brian and Heather Cooper were 19 and 17 when they met on a blind date set up as part of a day trip with friends to Scarborough.
At the time Heather, from Strensall, was working for Rowntree’s making presentation boxes and Brian, from Accum in York was clerk in the orderly room in the army.
Heather joked: “He was so shy, it was hard work getting him to talk. But he asked me out again. “
Earning decent money, only 18 months later the couple decided to tie the knot, and today they reminisce at how little it cost them.
Heather said: “I found it very easy to make these boxes but I did that for the money and it was fine because then we got married, I could have a nice wedding and it was lovely.
“It didn’t cost a lot in those days, it wasn’t long after the war so there wasn’t a lot around - there were no brides dresses in the shops like there are now.”
Brian added: “You would be shocked how much it cost, it was probably only £200.”
After getting married the couple spent their honeymoon in Blackpool before moving into their first flat together in Tadcaster.
A year later in 1957 they had their first child, a boy called Ralph.
But after Brian was demobbed from the Army, he applied to join the West Yorkshire police and the family moved into a police house for families in the force.
Brian said: “In county fores, because they wanted to move you around, they didn’t encourage you to buy houses.
“It wasnt until I’d been in the force 14 years in 1970 when the restrictions were lifted and you could buy a house and that’s when we came and bought our first house in Wetherby.”
Some years later Heather and Brian had another child, a little girl called Sarah, born in 1967.
Today the couple have five grandchildren and three great grandchildren and are looking forward to celebrating their anniversary with all of them.
Although the couple were married on St Patrick’s Day purely by chance they said it has made for some interesting celebrations in the past including a trip to New York for the annual parade on their Golden anniversary.
This year the couple are celebrating slightly later so all the family can attend a gathering at the Cedar Court Hotel in Harrogate on March 27.
When asked how they have had such a long and happy marriage, the couple said: “Life is very difficult being married but you’ve got to work at it, you’ve got to be strong and we do share decisions.
“You support one another and you help one another along.”