It’s been a man’s world for Thelma

A COUPLE have looked back on 60 years of wedded bliss.

Ronald and Thelma Archer are celebrating their diamond wedding today. The pair met in 1949 at the former miner’s hall in Horden when they were both 17.

Thelma, 79, whose maiden name is Proctor, was working at Price’s clothing factory in Hartlepool and Ronald, 80, was working at Easington pit, where he was employed for 40 years.

After a date at the cinema, the couple courted for two years before Ronald popped the question. The pair were married on October 27, 1951, at St Mary’s Church, in Horden.

The couple, from Comet Drive in Easington Village, went on to have three sons, Ken, 58, who lives at Grants Houses, Stephen, 55, who lives in Sedgefield, and 53-year-old Brian from Easington. They also have five grandsons, Ian, 25, 23-year-old David, Neil, 21, Paul, 20, and the late Kevin, who passed away 10 years ago aged 25.

They are also great-grandparents to five-year-old Jack Archer.

Thelma, who worked as a dinner lady at Easington Colliery Junior School after leaving Price’s, said despite her predominantly-male family, she had never been short of female company.

“I’ve got no sisters either, but I have lovely daughters-in-law,” she said.

Thelma added that the secret to their long and happy marriage was “being friends as well as everything else”.

She said: “We’ve always done things together and we still do.”

The couple will celebrate their special day with a meal with relatives.