Blind date resulted in 60 years of marriage for diamond Churwell couple
AFTER being set up on a blind date, a Churwell couple knew they had found something special in each other.
And it proves that Norman and Dorothy Clark weren’t wrong as they celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary tomorrow.
Mr and Mrs Clark, of Croft House Way, met as teenagers after being introduced by a friend of his.
Their first date was had at Queen’s Hall, a dance hall in Hunslet and the rest, as they say, is history.
On their first impressions of each other, Mr Clark, then 16, said: “I thought she was gorgeous.” Mrs Clark, who was 14, said: “I thought he was tall and handsome - very nice.”
Around five years later the couple were married, having a church ceremony at St Edward’s in Holbeck, followed by a week-long honeymoon in Whitby.
Mr Clark, 83, who was in the fire service for 31 years and then worked in the postroom at Leeds Crown Court as a messenger, said: “We borrowed Dorothy’s dad’s car and drove down there - but he came to collect the car after a week and we had to get the bus home!”
Mrs Clark, 81, who has worked as a machinist and in catering, added: “We had a lovely time there. We stopped on a farm and even helped the farmer out with the ploughing.”
The couple started married life living with Mr Clark’s sister and moved to other areas of the city before settling in their newly built house in Churwell, a place they have called home for the past 40 years.
They have two daughters, Linda and Christine, and three grandchildren, Alexandra, Helen and Bradley.
Alexandra, who works as a chemist on a rig in the middle of the North Sea, will be making a special trip home to join her grandparents’ celebration.
The couple are also rugby fans, watching grandson Bradley play for Morley Rugby Club, and get to as many Leeds Rhinos games as possible.
Mr Clark even travelled down to Wembley at the weekend with daughter Linda to watch the team’s defeat.
The couple have enjoyed many trips and holidays throughout the years to countries such as Germany, Australia and Canada and, both keen motorcyclists, rode their bikes for some.
Mr Clark said: “Dorothy gave up riding when she was about 70, but I was riding my BMW motorbike up until the end of last year. I’d pulled up outside the house and couldn’t get off the thing. I thought to myself, ‘what are you doing?’ and gave it up.”
Staying active and social, they enjoy the fire brigade’s pensioners dos and Mr Clark regularly attends the group’s monthly meetings and trips, which have included many laughs in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Wight.
The happy couple will be spending their actual anniversary tomorrow with family, starting with a special breakfast at Linda’s house - then at the weekend the party will begin with close friends, family and neighbours helping them celebrate with a party at the Woodlands Hotel. Their two bridesmaids, Margaret and Mavis, will also be joining in the celebration, just as they did 60 years ago.
And their thoughts on what has kept them happily together for 60 years? Mrs Clark says: “toleration”, while her husband says: “beer!”.
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