A GOLDEN couple are celebrating 50 years of marriage by saying “I do” all over again.
Derek and Marion Langlands were due to re-tie the knot today – 50 years to the day since they first walked down the aisle.
The couple were due to renew their wedding vows at Peterlee Methodist Church in front of 50 relatives this afternoon.
Derek, 72, asked his wife to marry him again on her 67th birthday in December 2010, much to the surprise of 150 people at a murder mystery night at Hardwicke Hall Manor Hotel, in Blackhall.
Marion, who accepted the “proposal”, said: “It was a big surprise. I’m a big Elvis fan and thought he was going to get me an Elvis kissagram, but he did this.’’
Marion says unlike Derek, she is “not soppy”, but adds that her husband is always springing romantic surprises on her.
He has even made Marion’s bouquet for today’s ceremony, as well as everyone’s buttonhole flowers.
Derek, who was working for a market gardener when the couple met and was later a chimney sweep, said: “I did it because I love my wife. I would ask her again and again.” The couple met when they both lived in Thornley. Marion was 16 and an ice-cream girl in the village’s Ritz Cinema and Derek, then 21, bought ice creams for her.
Derek ask her out on a day trip to Redcar with friends. Marion, whose maiden name was Ramshaw, said Derek first proposed on their second date, but she “just laughed”.
After two years, they were married at the Wesleyan Chapel in Thornley.
They went on to have three children, Audrey Seymour, 49, Carol Paton, 46, and David Langlands, 42.
They also have six grandchildren, Ashleigh Seymour, 21, Abby Langlands, 18, Lauren Paton, 16, Jack Langlands, 15, Liam Seymour, 12, and Sophie Paton, nine.
The couple lived in Thornley until 1986 before moving to Wheatley Hill then Peterlee, where they have been for the past five years.
Marion, a former civil servant and ex-bingo hall worker, who will wear a cream flowery dress for the ceremony, said: “We both have our faults but we just love each other.”
The “bridal party” were due to celebrate with a party at the Hearts of Oak pub, in Peterlee, afterwards.