THE church where a couple got married burnt down just hours after they said their wedding vows, but 60 years on their relationship is still burning bright.
Brenda and Deryk Rogerson, of Easthorpe Road, Great Gonerby, were just 17 and 18 years old at the time.
They were very pleased that they had their wedding day at the church before it was destroyed.
Deryk said: “I think it was a good omen. My mother told me our marriage wouldn’t last because we were too young but 60 years later here we are. Brenda is the most important thing in my life.”
The couple, who grew up in Wakefield, took a honeymoon in Leeds where they treated themselves to fish and chips and a trip to the cinema.
Deryk said: “It feels like we’ve been on honeymoon ever since.”
In the early years of their marriage life was tough for the couple, who met age 16 when they worked in the same shop.
Deryk worked in a mine and was sent to the Korean War during his national service while they had young children.
Brenda said: “It was so tough. I was 13 stone when he left and seven-and-a-half when he came back, we starved.”
In 1972 the couple and their seven children moved to Grantham after Deryk was offered a new job and they have lived in the area ever since.
Family is a huge part of their lives and they now have 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
They are having a big celebration at the Recruiting Sergeant in Great Gonerby on Saturday with family and friends followed by a night at the Ramada Hotel.
Deryk said: “It will be our second honeymoon.”
The couple said they nearly did not make it to 60 years as Deryk caught clostridium difficile after a life-saving operation at Grantham Hospital two years ago.
But now fully recovered they are really happy to be together for the special anniversary on Thursday.
Deryk said: “The secret to a long and happy marriage is give and take.
“And never go out of the house after an argument. Work at it.”
l Do you know someone celebrating a big achievement? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org