Diamond couple renew their vows

Diamond Wedding couple John and Gweneth Folland.
Diamond Wedding couple John and Gweneth Folland.

A DIAMOND couple celebrated a milestone anniversary by getting hitched all over again.

Gweneth and John Folland marked their diamond wedding anniversary by renewing their wedding vows at St James’ Church, in Rossmere Way, Hartlepool.

John and Gweneth on their wedding day

John and Gweneth on their wedding day

After their renewal ceremony, they celebrated their 60 years of marriage with a party at the church hall with 25 guests.

Gweneth, who worked for Henderson’s Haulage when she met her future husband, said: “It was exciting doing it all over again, except we are not quite as fit as we used to be.”

The couple received a card from The Queen on their special day and were also treated to a meal at Krimo’s at Hartlepool Marina.

Gweneth (nee Evans) said the secret to their long and happy marriage is always keeping busy and working together for their local church as John was warden for St James’ and Gweneth was a member of the church’s mothers union.

Gweneth met John when she was 16 and he was 19 and the pair were introduced by mutual friend Margaret Mawson on Seaton Front.

The couple just so happened to be on the same bus home and John, who worked at Central Marine Engine Works at the time, walked Gweneth home from the bus stop.

“He used to meet me outside St Luke’s Church bible class and we used to go to Ward Jackson Park and the cinema,” said Gweneth, now 80.

The couple married on March 7, 1951, at St Oswald’s Church when Gweneth was 20.

They renewed their vows earlier this month, but because John, who went down the aisle in his wheelchair, is battling asbestosis and emphysema, he was only well enough to appear in the Mail with Gweneth this week.

John, now 83, later got a job at the ice factory at Hartlepool fish quay before working for the Ayresome Industries blind-making workshop for 15 years.

The couple, who live in the Rossmere area of town, have three children, Ray Folland, 59, Paul Folland, 51 and Gwen Jobson, 42.

They also have two grandsons called Mark Folland, 30, and Ian Folland, 26, as well as great-grandchildren Evie, Jessica and Harry Folland.

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