A COUPLE believed to have one of Britain’s longest marriages celebrated their anniversary.
Sidney and Winifred Yorke tied the knot a staggering 73 years ago and marked the occasion surrounded by their family.
As one of only a small number of of couples in the country to exceed the 70th platinum anniversary, they were invited to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party on the day of the wedding of Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton in April 2011.
But sadly Sidney, 94, and Winifred, 93, whose maiden name is Lynch, were unable to attend.
Their son Martin, 61, said: “They got an invitation for being one of the eldest married couples in the country.
“But they were unable to go, which was a shame.
“My mother says the secret of their longevity is they simply love each other.”
Sidney was born in Chester-le-Street and Winifred in Hetton-le-Hole and the couple have lived in Peterlee for 61 years.
They met in 1936 while both working in service at Stowe School, in Buckinghamshire – Sidney was a footman and Winifred was a cook.
Sidney was called up for service with the Durham Light Infantry at the outbreak of the Second World War and proposed during the conflict.
They were married on August 30, 1940, in St Alban’s and Winifred came back to the North-East and worked at the munitions factory in Stanley, while Sidney continued his war service.
After Sidney was demobbed in 1945, the couple had two sons, James, 67, from Peterlee, and Martin, who lives in Crook.
The couple found a house in Hawes Road, Peterlee, before moving to the town’s Buddle Close and then to their home in the Acre Rigg area.
Winifred still lives there after 40 years and former bricklayer, Northern Buses conductor and North East Electricity Board warehouseman Sidney moved to Peterlee Care Home last year.
The couple, who both later worked at the Charnos clothing factory in Peterlee, have six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Karam Chand, 107, and wife and Kartari, 100, from Bradford, hold the record for Britain’s longest marriage, having celebrated their 87th anniversary last December.