a BLIND date picnic was the unlikely prelude to half a century together for John and Carol Kellett, who celebrate their golden wedding today.
The couple were just 20 and 16 respectively when they were introduced by a workmate of Carol’s – but something clicked and they married a year later at Holy Innocents, Thornhill Lees.
John, 71, and Carol, 67, will be marking their milestone with a fish and chip restaurant meal in the company of son, Philip, daughters, Catherine and Gill, some of their six grandchildren and friends.
Carol, of Springfield Terrace, Dewsbury, said: “I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight but we got on well enough to go out again and it grew from there. It was nearly always the pictures in those days, and maybe the occasional dance.”
Like many grooms at the time, John had to take leave from National Service to tie the knot. He said: “I was serving with the Royal Army Service Corps, so we had the wedding, a honeymoon in Blackpool, then it was straight back to my unit again.”
John spent his working life in engineering. Starting with an apprenticeship at Ashworths in Staincliffe, he subsequently worked for BBA at Cleckheaton for many years and ended his career at KMK, a Bradford boiler parts company.
Carol’s first job was at Wormald and Walkers’ blanket mill then she worked in several town centre shops including Page’s and Johnny Mode before becoming a full-time mum.
She said: “When the children were older, I went back to work as a part-time waitress at Batley Variety Club at the time when the stars visited. I saw Johnny Mathis, Shirley Bassey, Sandie Shaw, all the big names. It was a great time to be there.”
John and Carol put the success of their marriage down to being prepared to work through difficulties and having their own interests.
John said: “We’ve always been happy to give one another a bit of space. Carol will go shopping with our daughters or do a bit of gardening, I’ll play golf or have a game of bowls.”
Carol added: “You need to accept there’ll be rough and smooth in a marriage. We do a lot of things together, of course, but I wonder what these couples who never do anything on their own find to talk about. That’s never been a problem for us!”