Diamond East Ardsley couple celebrate anniversary

Ronald and Betty Laing Diamond Wedding
Ronald and Betty Laing Diamond Wedding

An East Ardsley couple who courted in the 1950s dance halls are celebrating 60 years of marriage.

Ronald Laing asked his future wife Betty to dance at the Embassy in Wakefield on a night out after he returned from national service. It was the start of a two-year courtship which led to their marriage on March 27, 1954, at St Andrew’s Church, Wakefield.

But Mr Laing, 83, first had to work on his dancing skills. Mrs Laing, 84, said: “He danced with his left foot and I danced with my right.”

The couple, of Orchard Close, East Ardsley, enjoyed dates at the Embassy, Unity Hall and Empire dance halls during their courtship, when Mr Laing would walk from his home in Thorpe to see his wife-to-be. He said: “I used to walk from Wakefield to Thorpe every Saturday night. I used to run and walk for a good hour.”

After the wedding they first moved to Teall Street in Wakefield before finding a house in East Ardsley, where they still live. They had one daughter, Liz Laing, 47. Mr Laing, a keen chess and snooker player, worked at the Yorkshire Copper Works in Stourton for 37 years, before being employed at a furniture company in Dewsbury and retiring at 71.

Mrs Laing, who enjoyed walking and caravanning, was employed at a woollen mill on Kirkgate in Wakefield for 25 years. Mr Laing’s younger sisters Joan and Carol, who were bridesmaids at the wedding, will be among family and friends at a gathering to celebrate the milestone.

When asked the secret to a happy 60-year marriage, Mrs Laing said: “Agree to disagree, respect, caring and trust, and always do things together.”

Mr Laing added: “I don’t think we have ever been parted. We’ve always been together.”