A devoted Kimberley couple who first met at a dance at the town’s parish hall in 1951 have celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.
Sam and Barbara Towle, who courted for three years before tying the knot at Holy Trinity Church marked their 60-year milestone with a party organised by family, at the Hogs Head in Awsworth.
Sam, 82, was born in Aspley, and during a busy working life spent ten years as a butcher before being employed for 28 years in the traffic office at the Heanor Heavy Haulage Company.
Barbara, 81, who was raised in Kimberley and attended the local comprehensive school, spent her working life at the town’s Wolsey factory employed as a nylon pairer, and then as a cleaner at Kimberley Leisure Centre.
They are frequent visitors to Rumbletums Community Café in Kimberley where Sam has taken on the role of Santa at the creche Christmas Parties.
Sam also has an illuminated Santa post box outside his home each year where children can send their messages and wish lists to Father Christmas, and get a reply.
Sam visits each home with gifts for the excited youngsters.
“Despite our ages we are young at heart and it gives us great pleasure to bring joy to the community by our seasonal efforts” said Sam.
“It seems like a lifetime since Barbara and I stood at the altar in front of the Rev Philip New on our wedding day which also happened to be her 21st birthday.
“Our lives have been enriched by a wonderful family and to reach this special diamond milestone owes much to our wonderful relationship which has been built upon love, friendship, trust and togetherness.”
Sam, who enjoys gardening and cooking and Barbara, who plays Bingo and attends over 60s Keep Fit classes, have two children and three grandchildren.
The couple’s claim to fame happened in 1999 when they won a newspaper’s best Christmas lights competition and were given a four nights stay at Marriots Hotel in Times Square in New York with £1,000 in spending money.
The Advertiser recently ran a story about how the couple, of Brendon Drive, after they lost their wedding photographs and were reunited with them years later when the photograpgher’s son, shopkeeper Roy Plumb, found them in his garage.