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City Hall celebrations for diamond wedding couples
Diamond wedding couples from around the Bradford district have attended a special afternoon tea party organised by the Lord Mayor of Bradford at City Hall.
All couples celebrating 60 years of marriage between January 1 and December 31, 2012 were eligible to attend. The invitation was open to couples who were married or live in the Bradford district.
More than two dozen couples reserved a place through the Lord Mayor’s Office for the special event, which included sandwiches, cakes, tea, music and a spot of dancing.
Coun Smith told the Telegraph & Argus: “It’s been hugely successful. We have tried to engage across the district with people who have had their 60th wedding anniversary this year to celebrate the Jubilee. It seemed an entirely appropriate way to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by inviting up to 30 couples here today to come and have tea, celebrate the Jubilee and their own weddings.
“What’s important to me is that people from across the district have come into City Hall. The number of people who tell me its the first time they’ve been here. I want to make this the ‘People’s Palace’, to be quite frank, and have a very open policy of people coming in.”
Many of the couples had read about the event in the T&A, including David and Marjorie Sinclair, who even brought along a copy of the paper from the day they married – July 26, 1952.
The pair who live in Great Horton said the Diamond Jubilee afternoon tea was a smashing idea.
Mr Sinclair added his words of advice for a long and happy marriage: “When we have a disagreement, I know I am right, but I let Marjorie think she’s right, and it works a treat.”
Former Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress Robert and Jean Sowman also attended the event. The pair were the district’s first citizens from 1993 to 1994, with Mr Sowman having been a Bradford councillor for nearly 30 years, representing the old ward of Undercliffe .
The couple, who live in Shipley , celebrated their anniversary on May 10. Mrs Sowman recalled their year of office describing it as “absolutely wonderful”, while Mr Sowman, 82, said he hosted an event in the Council chamber where honorary Bradford University degrees were bestowed, which was the first time this has been done outside of the University itself.
Mrs Sowman, 80, said that when they married, they had a four-day honeymoon in Blackpool, before her husband returned to the Navy and was posted abroad for a year.
Of yesterday’s event, Mr Sowman added: “It’s a wonderful occasion – when you think of all these people and all the memories they must have.”
Peter and Irene Kelly, of Queensbury , were delighted to be invited to the special afternoon tea. The pair who met while they were teenagers working in Bradford, married on December 6, 1952.
Mrs Kelly, 79, who still makes cakes professionally, had made a special Diamond Anniversary celebration cake, which she brought along to share with the other anniversary couples.
Eighty-one-year-old Mr Kelly said: “She should have retired from baking cakes, but when anybody asks, she always wants to make one more.”
“It makes you realise how many people have been married for 60 years in Bradford,” Mrs Kelly added.