Wearside couple celebrate 60 years of married life

Jack and Peggy Allison.
Jack and Peggy Allison.
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A diamond couple have followed a family tradition as they celebrate 60 years of wedded bliss today.

Houghton couple Jack and Peggy Allison tied the knot at St Nicholas Church in Hetton on September 22, 1956, and have been together ever since.

Jack and Peggy Allison on their wedding day in September 1956.

Jack and Peggy Allison on their wedding day in September 1956.

The celebration is also being held as Jack also marks his 81st birthday today after they were married on the day he turned 21.

After having long working lives the pair are now settled in retirement in their hometown.

But the achievement is all the more remarkable, with Peggy having three sisters who have also enjoyed long marriages during their lives.

Older sister Anne Smith was married for 52 years to husband Ron before she died aged 74, while another older sister Nel Cartwright, 88, has been married to Don for 66 years.

Another sister Elsie was married to husband Arthur, 91, for 68 years before she died in 2014 aged 88.

“I think it must be a bit of a record for four sisters to have had marriages that have lasted so long,” said Mrs Allison, 82, who was born in Hetton.

Mr Allison, who is today celebrating turning 81, was born in Newbottle and started work at Lambton Colliery on leaving school.

He also worked for a number of years a security guard at Littlewoods in Hendon before retirement.

Mrs Allison worked at Blacketts department store in Sunderland on leaving school, before being employed at Armstrong Electrical Contractors in Houghton.

The pair, who enjoy going on foreign holidays, have been keen bowlers at Houghton Indoor Bowls Club for many years, with Mrs Allison also involved with the work of Houghton Blind Centre.

Asked on what she thinks the secret of a long marriage is, Mrs Allison replied: “I think it’s that you have to have a bit of a give and take in the relationship.”

They have two sons, John, 59 and Stephen, 53, four grandchildren, Horea, 28, David, also 28, Stephanie, 25, and Thomas, 16, as well as great-granddaughter Aoife, one.