FORMER Skipton Mayor Richard Colley and his wife, Margaret, celebrate their golden wedding anniversary this weekend.

They met in the “Summer of 69” in Rochdale and were engaged on Margaret’s birthday in February 1970, marrying later the same year on September 19 at All Saints’ Church, Hamer, Rochdale. Following the wedding they moved into their first home in Syke on the outskirts of Rochdale.

Richard started his career in marketing in Rochdale, the couple later moving to Higham to be nearer Richard’s new post in Burnley. Another work move soon afterwards took them to Pattingham, a village between Wolverhampton and Bridgnorth in the Midlands, where they lived for six years.

A further work move took the duo to Milford on Sea in Hampshire when Richard started a new post in marketing and new product development in Southampton. Margaret worked as a school nurse assistant, visiting primary schools in the New Forest area, checking on children’s health (Nitty Nora).

Margaret and Richard stayed in Milford for nearly ten years, before moving back ‘up North’ to Skipton in late 1989. Richard’s parents had moved to Hetton to retire in 1975, so the couple were very familiar with Skipton and pleased to be able to move here.

They have now been living in the town for over 30 years, the longest they have lived anywhere, and although technically ‘offcumdens’ Richard served on Skipton Town Council for seven years from 1995, and he and Margaret were Mayor of Skipton and Consort from 1999 – 2000 and 2000 – 2001.

Margaret worked at the tourist information centre in Skipton, before a period with Crossroads in Harrogate, providing home care for people across Craven.

The couple have raised considerable amounts for local organisations and charities through their popular wine tastings over more than 20 years.

They have three sons, Dan, Toby, and Ben, who were all educated locally. Dan and Ben now work in London and Toby lives in Addingham.

Margaret and Richard say they were really looking forward to a family get together that their three sons and families, including five grandchildren, had arranged at a luxury cottage near to the Wye Valley to celebrate their 50 years of marriage.

Unfortunately, the recent new restrictions due to Covid-19 have meant the cancellation of this celebration, though the couple say they look forward to resurrecting it when restrictions are eased, hopefully in the not too distant future. In the meantime, an alternative way to celebrate locally on the day is being investigated.