Big marriage milestone for diamond couple

Milestone anniversary...Eileen and Frank Thompson.
Milestone anniversary...Eileen and Frank Thompson.

A couple who recently celebrated their 60th diamond wedding anniversary believe that a long and happy marriage depends on being friends as well as being in love.

“You have to get on as friends as well as being in love with each other,” said Frank Thompson.

Frank, who was living in Batley, met his future wife, Eileen, at her auntie’s house in Birstall, near Leeds.

Eileen said: “Frank’s sister and my cousin were going out together and we met at a nice Christmas party. We were about 13 or 14 when we met.

“We started going out properly when I was 17-years-old. He liked me and I liked him and he asked me out. I thought he was gorgeous and still do.”

Because of national service Frank became a soldier in the Durham Light Infantry and was sent to Korea towards the end of the Korean war but they kept in touch with letters to each other. After he returned they continued going out together before becoming engaged and then entered into marriage.

The couple, who are both 81, have a daughter, Jackie, and a son, Andrew, who both live in different parts of West Yorkshire. They also have six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

“We see them often and just love them to bits,” says Eileen who worked as a carpet setter in a factory and went back to that work a few years after their son was born.

Frank joined the fire service after coming out of the Army and was a firefighter for 30 years. After he retired from the fire service at the age of 50 the couple moved from West Yorkshire to Lincolnshire where he did various jobs including working for Butlin’s for five years. The couple then moved to Pocklington in 1997, and live on Yapham Road.

“We were over a 100 miles from the family and we wanted to be nearer but did not want to appear to be on top of them,” said Frank.

As part of their celebrations they had an enjoyable evening involving 67 people and the youngsters at Burnby Hall.

“Instead of gifts we asked people to give a donation and we collected £620 which is for cancer research,” said Eileen.

“We had a lovely time and want to thank all those who donated money for that,” she added.