Golden couple celebrate 50 years together

Newspaper: Wakefield Express.'Story: Golden wedding. Alan and Diane Downing from Outwood.'Photo date: 20/11/15'Picture Ref: AB535a1115

Newspaper: Wakefield Express.'Story: Golden wedding. Alan and Diane Downing from Outwood.'Photo date: 20/11/15'Picture Ref: AB535a1115

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A couple who were told they were too young to get married are celebrating 50 happy years together today.

Alan and Diane Downing, of Bevin Close, Outwood, met when they worked at Redmans in Kirkgate and were both in their teens.

Newspaper: Wakefield Express.'Story: Golden wedding. Alan and Diane Downing from Outwood.'**COPY OF ORIGINAL WEDDING DAY PHOTOGRAPH**'Photo date: 20/11/15'Picture Ref: AB535b1115

Newspaper: Wakefield Express.'Story: Golden wedding. Alan and Diane Downing from Outwood.'**COPY OF ORIGINAL WEDDING DAY PHOTOGRAPH**'Photo date: 20/11/15'Picture Ref: AB535b1115

Mr Downing worked upstairs in the shop as a baker.

He said: “I made the buns and Diane sold them. I remember seeing her a few times and asked her out.

“Before we knew it we started courting.”

The couple started dating in September 1964 and got married 14 months later at St Peter’s Church in Stanley.

Mr Downing, 68, said: “It happened very quickly but when you know you know.

“A lot of people at the time said that we were too young to get married and that it would never last but we proved everyone wrong.”

Mr Downing spent three years at Redmans before working as a petrol delivery driver at Bayford in Leeds for 37 years.

His wife, 67, worked several jobs including for Wakefield Council at Balne Lane Library.

The couple have four children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

And in their spare time enjoy travelling and spending time with their family.

Mr Downing said: “We love to travel even though Diane does not like to fly.

“We go all over England and have been to Italy, France and Belgium recently.

“Last year we had nine holidays and this year we have had eight. So between the trips and the great-grandchildren we stay very busy.”

The couple plan to celebrate their anniversary with a meal at the Holmfield House on Denby Dale Road.

They will then continue the celebrations by having a party with family and friends at the Holiday Inn in Ossett.

As a special gift to his wife, Mr Downing has baked the same cake the couple had on their wedding day.

He said: “Being a baker at heart I wanted to do something special for her.

“It was a two-tier cake and I have tried my best to replicate it.”

The couple said the secret to a long and happy marriage was talking to each other.

Mr Downing said: “For two people so young, I think it is lovely that we have stayed together all this time. “