Newthorpe couple marks 60 years of marriage

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A devoted Newthorpe couple is celebrating 60 years of marriage. Dennis and Audrey Smith, of Fairdale Drive, where they have lived for the past 30 years, first met by chance during a church outing to Willersley Castle in 1954. Following a first date at the Theatre Royal, and then a two-year courtship, Dennis, 83, and Audrey, 84, tied the knot at Park Street Methodist Church in Heanor in 1956. See left for more.

Following a first date at the Theatre Royal, and then a two-year courtship, Dennis, 83, and Audrey, 84, tied the knot at Park Street Methodist Church in Heanor in 1956. The couple who were both born and bred in Heanor, then lived in Bulwell, Basford and Nuthall for ten years at a time before moving to Newthorpe, celebrated their diamond anniversary in the company of their two children, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

The couple have made their mark as ‘ambassadors’ for Methodist churches across Nottinghamshire over the years. Dennis, who was employed as a security officer with Lloyds Bank in Nottingham for 28 years and then 10 years as a Post Office employee, has contributed so much to Methodism.

His reputation with local churches is second to none and he has enriched the lives of many in roles that that have included youth club leader, Sunday School teacher, circuit steward, local preacher and church organist. Audrey too has made her mark, working as a secretary at Vic Hallams in Langley Mill and in a similar role at the QMC. A former Sunday School teacher, she held office as secretary at churches in Greasley Beauvale and Cinderhill and currently shares a mutual interest with Dennis in choral singing. To mark the couple’s diamond milestone, their family arranged a celebration luncheon visit to Willersley Castle and as a special surprise Dennis and Audrey took centre stage at St Andrew’s Church in Langley Mill, where friends staged a special service of thanksgiving in their honour. Audrey said: “It has been a joy and privilege to have served the community through our involvement in Methodism and we give thanks to everyone who has played a part in enriching our lives. We have been blessed with a wonderful family and many special friends and our diamond wedding anniversary is a milestone event that we will cherish forever. A special card of congratulations from Her Majesty the Queen was the icing on the cake.”