Hartlepool couple enjoy a diamond day

Betty and Ron Smith have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
Betty and Ron Smith have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

A former Hartlepool church minister and his wife have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Ron and Betty Smith, both 82, marked the impressive milestone with a visit from family and friends, who travelled up from London to celebrate the occasion.

Ron and Betty Smith on their wedding day.

Ron and Betty Smith on their wedding day.

The couple from Whitrout Road, Hartlepool, were born in London, where they lived for 25 years, before coming north through Mr Smith’s work in the church.

Ron worked on the London docks when he met Betty, aged 20, and was also a London bus driver in the 1950s.

He was also a resident minister at Horden Pentecostal Church from 1969 to 1978.

The couple moved up to Hartlepool in 1978, where Mr Smith set up a travelling ministry, working as an evangelist at various churches in Hartlepool, and surrounding areas, before he retired in 1990.

Now the couple are parishioners at the City of Life Pentecostal Church, in Franklin Street, Sunderland.

Over the years the couple have travelled the world in the course of ministry to destinations such as California, where they celebrated their 50th anniversary.

“She is quite funny, and whatever she does she does well,” Ron said of his wife of 60 years.

“She was a secretary at Sainsbury’s in Blackfriars at the time and we married, aged 21, on August 20, 1955, at the same church we met.

“It was a nice service and a big day for us.”

The couple have a daughter, Elaine Catchlove, 59, who lives in London with her husband. Ms Catchlove and her husband travelled up to see the couple on their big day.

“I love him because he was always the one and only man in my life,” Betty said.

“We do everything together now we are retired.

“We both love people and over the years of working in the church we have got to meet many people.

“It has been a lifetime of happiness, I am so glad I met the right man.”