Sixty-year journey of Seaham's diamond couple
A couple whose relationship began by a chance encounter on the bus have marked 60 years of marriage.
Hazel and John Dawson met as they made their way back to Seaham after a night out and he offered to walk her home.
Now the couple have marked their years together with a celebration with their family - and received a telegram from the Queen.
John, 87, spent time in the RAF and the rest of his working life at Dawdon pit, while Hazel, 83, nee Oates, worked as a secretary.
Daughter Gillian Moyle, 54, said: “They met on the bus, both had been for a night out and my dad said to her ‘I like your bonny hat’ and after that he walked her home.
“Six months later and they were married.”
The couple exchanged vows at St John’s Church and moved into Alexandrina Street, where they lived closed to several members of their family, and went on to move to Victoria Street, where they still live
The Dawsons are also parents of Gary, 56, and are the in-laws of Gillian’s husband John, 59.
They are grandparents to Owan, 36, and Alison McCarthy, 33, and great-grandparents of Owan’s children Harry, 13, and the late Olivia, who died six years ago when she was six, and his partner Billie’s children Jade, 26, and Carl, 23, and Alison’s children with husband Paul, 36, Cialan, five, and Isabelle, three.
Jade also has a son, Shay, eight months, with her partner Derick Fox.
Gillian added: “We all got together, because they are big on family.
“They have always been ones getting all they could out of life, they’ve loved travelling, been on cruises all over the world and visited all sorts of places.
“They also love dancing and used to go every week.