Sunderland couple celebrate 60 years of happiness

Ethel and James Christie celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.
Ethel and James Christie celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.
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A Sunderland couple who are still very much in love more than 60 years on are celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

Ethel, 79, and James Christie, 80, tied the knot on July 27, 1957, at Virgin Mary Church, in Springwell, and have been together ever since.

Ethel and James Christie on their wedding day.

Ethel and James Christie on their wedding day.

The pair met at The Rink dance hall in the city when Ethel was just 16 and James was 17 after James’ friend asked Ethel to dance on his behalf.

Since that fateful night the coupe were inseparable and went on to have four children; two daughters- Kathleen Elgar and Lesleyann Christie and two sons - Jimmy Christie and Neil Christie.

Now living on Somerset Road, the couple marked the day by spending quality time with each other.

Daughter Lesleyann said: “They got married when my mum was just 19 and my dad was 20 and then they had me a year later.

Ethel and James Christie celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

Ethel and James Christie celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

“They had a big wedding and my mum had six bridesmaids.

“My dad was a good footballer and played for Bishop Auckland, he could have gone professional, but instead took on an apprenticeship and went into the Navy.

“He was in the Navy for four years but missed his family so much he wanted to come home.”

On leaving the Navy, James worked for David Brown engineering company, while Ethel worked for Pyrex glassware for 15 years.

The pair now have 12 grand children and 10 great-grandchildren and enjoy going on holiday to Benidorm each year for a month.

The pair also have their own hobbies. Ethel enjoys Bingo, while James enjoys darts - but they say the secret to their long and happy marriage is to spend time together.

Ethel added: “I couldn’t have picked anyone better.”

Lesleyann said: “My mum has had a lot of health problems over they years, but my dad has supported her throughout.

“When we were younger we would always go away together as a family - camping in Scotland and to Butlins.

“They still like going on holiday together now.”

The family will be coming together this weekend to mark the occasion with a meal out.