Couple toast 60 years since ‘white’ Christmas wedding

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They say getting married and preparing for Christmas are two of the most stressful things in life.

But a Batley couple ignored that advice and combined the two, 60 years ago this week.

Margaret and Thomas Hopkins tied the knot at St Patrick’s Church in Birstall on Boxing Day 1956.

The couple, both 81, have enjoyed six decades of happiness ever since and have recalled their special day on the eve of their diamond wedding anniversary.

“I think I fancied a white wedding and there was literally snow on the steps of the church on the day,” said Margaret.

“We could only invite our own families on the day but it was a great day and it was a big occasion.”

When quizzed on the secret to their longevity, Margaret says working as a couple is key.

She said: “We’ve had our ups and downs like any marriage, but you work hard and work through it.

“I don’t know if people do that in this day and age, but you have to work together.”

The couple, of Woodhall Drive, both worked in 
their respective sectors for over 30 years.

Margaret worked in social services while Thomas worked down the pits but despite retirement, the pair refuse to take it easy and enjoy active lifestyles.

Margaret said: “We still stay active.

“I’m captain of the bowling team at Wilton Park and Thomas plays too and I swim 20 lengths each morning.”

As for the impending anniversary, the couple are set for a visit to Australia where two of their three children live.

Margaret added: “We’ll be having a quiet occasion on the day itself but will be going out to Australia after the new year.

“We’ve been there 17 times but we’re looking forward to it.”