Celebrations for diamond couple

Diamond wedding of Donald and Margaret Hirst.  (d601a330)
Diamond wedding of Donald and Margaret Hirst. (d601a330)

A diamond couple who met on the dancefloor celebrated 60 years of happy marriage yesterday.

Former detective Donald Hirst met Margaret Cross at a dance at Ravensthorpe Ambulance Rooms in 1951.

After a two-year courtship they married at Dewsbury Minster and honeymooned in Bridlington, before settling in Flatts.

Following a stint in the RAF, shop work and a job at Dewsbury Pioneers Industrial Society, Mr Hirst joined Dewsbury Borough Police in 1956. He soon rose up to ranks, joining the CID where he served for 25 years. He later served as a coroner’s officer and in the burglary squad before training CID aides.

He worked on several high profile cases, including being responsible for security at Dewsbury Magistrates’ Court when Yorkshire Ripper Petter Sutcliffe appeared on remand.

At the time of retirement, Mr Hirst was the longest serving detective in West Yorkshire Police with a record 12 commendations. He later joined sports company Puma UK as a security manager.

Before the birth of the couple’s son Christopher in 1955, Mrs Hirst, now 79, worked as a machinist and made clothes.

The couple enjoy taking holidays and have travelled extensively, including Romania, Yugoslavia, Tenerife and Italy.

Mr Hirst, 85, of Leeds Road, Dewsbury, said: “There’s no real secret - it’s all about thinking more about the other than about yourself, talking and looking after each other.”

The couple celebrated their anniversary with friends yesterday and will spend a long weekend in Whitby with their son.