Diamond duo pulled together

DIAMOND COUPLE Mary and Bill Clay. (d533c333)
DIAMOND COUPLE Mary and Bill Clay. (d533c333)

Family will be at the heart of celebrations for a couple who marked 60 years of marriage yesterday.

Mary and Bill Clay will be joined by their children and grandchildren on Sunday for a diamond wedding dinner.

The couple met in 1944 while working at G and T Stubleys woollen mill in Batley.

Mrs Clay (nee Dixon) said: “I was a weaver and he was tier on.

“We weren’t serious until he went and did his national service for two years. We met up again and started courting.”

After getting engaged in 1952, they were married at St Mary’s Church in Chickenley on a “beautiful summer day” on August 15, 1953.

Mrs Clay said: “We had a boiled ham for 90 guests. The Ossett Co-op did it. I’ve always remembered that.

“Bill sold a motorbike and we went to Blackpool for three days. I never liked the motorbike – and he loved Blackpool.

“No going away clothes, but we had our Sunday best on.”

The couple moved in with Mrs Clay’s mother in Gawthorpe, gradually buying the house.

They lived in Ossett for seven years before moving to Chidswell Lane in Shaw Cross 25 years ago.

Mr Clay, 82, and Mrs Clay, 83, raised three sons – Andrew, Neil and John – and have three grandchildren.

“I’m really proud of the children,” said Mrs Clay.

“Bill and I have had our ups and downs, but you pull together after 60 years. We used to tease the boys and say there’s still time for a divorce!”