Ilkeston diamond couple reveal secret to a long and happy marriage

Marion and Harry Clay celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary
Marion and Harry Clay celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary

A couple whose eyes first met on Bath Street when they were youngsters have celebrated 60 years of marriage.

Marion and Harry Clay married on March 26 1955 at St Mary’s Church in Ilkeston.

They met on Bath Street when young men and woman would parade up and down on a Sunday hoping to catch the eye of someone that took their fancy.

Marion, 79, said: “Me and my friends were on one side and the lads were on the other. We were eyeing one another up. Funnily enough I had known his sister all my life and went to school with her so he knew a little bit about me.

“He asked his mate to ask me for a date so he must have fancied me - and that was the beginning of the end.”

The couple met when Mariona was 17 and Harry was 20.

Harry, 82, did National Service with the RAF before working with Marion at Booths Hosiery on Awsworth Road.

Marion said: “When we got married we were living with my mum and dad. Then eight weeks later we got a council house in Kirk Hallam. Five years later we decided to buy our own house in Ilkeston - I’m a town girl so always wanted to go back there.”

The couple have lived in Rigley Avenue since 1960. They have two sons - Paul, 57, - and Russell, 54. They also have four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

They plan to celebrate their diamond wedding with family over Easter.

Marion also revealed the secret to a long and happy marriage. She said: “The secret is tolerance and supporting one another through thick and thin. We are very different characters but our best days are now. We are lucky, we have got a lovely family and don’t regret anything.”

On the day of their anniversary Harry and Marion enjoyed a meal at The Black Horse in Mapperley with some family members.