Diamond couple say the key to happiness is friendship as they celebrate 60 years together

A couple celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary have said the secret to their happiness is maintaining a solid friendship.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 10:48 am
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 10:10 am

Patricia and James Hayward will mark their 60th anniversary today, before celebrating with their family on Friday evening.

The couple, now aged 82 and 83 respectively, first met at Wakefield Rollerskating Hall, where it was love at first sight.

Mr Hayward said: “I was pretty good on the skates, me and a few of my mates.

Patricia and James Hayward are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

“My wife was in the middle with another girl and I thought I’d better rescue her.

“And I’ve been rescuing her ever since.”

The pair married at Normanton Parish Church in January 1960, before celebrating with a reception at the Liberal Working Men’s Club.

Mr Hayward served 10 years in the Royal Artillery, during which time the couple were fortunate enough to spend time travelling around the world, including the Middle East, Hong Kong, Malaya and Singapore.

They later returned to Normanton and Mrs Hayward took up work at a Bell Lighting, where she ran a warehouse and worked for more than 30 years before retiring at the age of 73.

Meanwhile, Mr Hayward enjoyed a wealth of careers, including time as a miner and a scaffolder.

They have since welcomed sons Martin, Paul and Darren, as well as eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Mrs Hayward said they were thrilled to have such a large family, many of whom still live nearby.

“It wasn’t the plan actually,” she said. “It’s how things came along, we’re very happy.

“We’re all very close.”

And as for the secret to a happy marriage?

“Just being good friends,” she said. “We’re always good friends.”