A DIAMOND couple received a telegram from the Queen to mark 60 years of wedded bliss.
Brian and Pauline Sweeney, from Hartlepool, have framed the keepsake to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.
The couple were married on December 27, 1952, at All Saints Church, Stranton.
They had met as teenagers at the Lister Street Youth Club, when Pauline, whose maiden name was Rigg, was living in York Road and Brian lived in Oxford Road.
Pauline, now 79, said: “I think our first date would have been on a bus trip from the youth centre to Whitley Bay when I was about 15 and my husband was 16.”
Brian, 80, worked as a joiner for CM Yuill before being called up for national service.
The couple got engaged when Pauline was 19 years old and were married two days after Christmas Day in 1952, on a “really damp and foggy day”, as Brian was due to start his national service in January.
Pauline worked as a telephonist receptionist with Siemens while Brian served his country for two years before he returned to Yuills.
Sadly Pauline contracted tuberculosis, which meant she had to put off having children until later.
In 1957, the couple’s eldest daughter Susan I’Anson, 55, was born.
The couple, who live in the Oxford Road area, are also parents to 54-year-old Wendy Setterfield, Steven Sweeney, 53, and Gillian Bailey, 44.
They are grandparents to Vicky, Sarah and Ashley Sweeney, Gary and Natalie I’Anson, Liam and Rachel Bailey and Stuart and Matthew Setterfield and have three great-grandchildren, Harry and Evie Folland and Riley Sweeney.
Pauline and Brian, who went on to run his own building company for 25 years, were due to celebrate their special day with a party last night at Hartlepool Catholic Club.
Pauline shared the secret of the couple’s long and happy marriage, saying: “We have had our ups and downs but we have got over them. “We have got a very good family and have to be thankful.”
Daughter Sue I’Anson added: “All the family wish them well, they are wonderful parents.”