Sunderland couple who are ‘best pals’ celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary
Douglas and Dorothy Percival first met in October 1955 when they were learning to ballroom dance at the Mattie Dorn Dance Studio.
The couple’s relationship blossomed and four years later the pair, who now live in Ryhope, married at Ewesley Road Methodist Church on Monday March 30, 1959.
Douglas, 82, said: “I very nearly missed the wedding because the ship I was on was stuck offshore at Southend due to the smog. I didn’t get back to Sunderland until the afternoon on Easter Saturday.
“Our reception was held at Atkinsons Cafe at Seaburn - unfortunately it rained all day.”
Dorothy was a cutter at the Sunderland Mantle & Gown co and Douglas was an apprentice at William Doxford (Marine) Engineering Works and from there he went into the Merchant Navy.
Dorothy, 82, was born in London and Douglas was born in nearby Seaham but they both grew up in Sunderland.
“I’m a Sunderland lad and I’m proud of that,” said Douglas.
“Dorothy has been the brick for the family all the time.
“As a family we’re more like mates really, we all get along so well.
“We’re friends first, we’ve got a lot in common.
“We still do everything together, we both enjoy going out walking and we’re both still very active.
“We’re just best pals really and we have a lovely family. We’re both so proud of them all.”
The diamond couple now have three children, daughter Lyn and Allyson and son Stuart and three grandchildren Hannah, 31, Harry, 19, and Joe, 15.
The pair are celebrating the big day with their family at the Stables in Farringdon.
The pair are also both looking forward to going on a Baltic cruise as their special anniversary treat with Douglas saying he’s looking forward to the overnight stay in Saint Petersburg.