A devoted couple will mark five decades of marriage today by renewing their vows.
Janet and Gordon Whitehead are to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary surrounded by their family at a ceremony at St Saviour Church just a short distance away from their Shotton Colliery home.
It will be followed by a party at the Moorcock in Peterlee.
The couple moved to the North East from Lichfield in Staffordshire in 1980 so Gordon could find work, first living in South Shields for a year before moving to Peterlee.
Janet, 69, worked in the kitchens at St Bede’s School, while Gordon, 71, was a forklift truck driver, but in 1992, their lives changed when Gordon was crushed in an incident at work.
It left him with leg injuries and acid burns, with Janet giving up her job to become his carer, and in later years he has developed vascular dementia.
They have been through a lot together and they are so close to their family.Susan Banks
The couple are helped through carer support, with Gordon visiting the day centre in Patton House, Wheatley Hill, several times a week.
The couple are parents to Susan Banks, 49, and Kevin, 48, and in-laws to Susan’s husband Gordon, 52, and Kevin’s wife Elsie.
They are also parents to Marie and Gary, who were both lost after cotsdeath when they were just weeks old.
The couple also have nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren among their close family.
Susan said: “It means such a lot to them to get to their golden wedding anniversary.
“They have been through a lot together and they are so close to their family.
“They love to see their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”