A pair of Keighley couples are celebrating six decades of marriage

Keighley News: Derek and Barbara Binns Derek and Barbara Binns

A pair of Keighley couples are celebrating six decades of marriage this month.

Riddlesden’s Derek and Barbara Binns had their diamond wedding anniversary last Thursday, while Peter and Pat McLaren, from Long Lee, will celebrate their own milestone on Boxing Day.

Mr and Mrs Binns, of Grange Road, met each other in 1949.

Mr Binns, 82, who is originally from Haworth, was an 18-year-old weaving overlooker when he first met his future wife at a dance in Cross Roads. Mrs Binns, now 79, came from Oxenhope, and had just left school to begin work as a weaver at a local mill.

The pair were married at Oxenhope Parish Church in 1953 and bought a house in Ingrow. They have lived locally almost all their lives, apart from a four-year spell in Cheshire.

They have a daughter, Lesley, a son, David, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. The couple enjoyed boating for 20 years, travelling around the country’s waterways on a vessel known as an estuary cruiser.

Mr Binns finished his career working as a weaving foreman in Bradford, while Mrs Binns worked part-time as a fashion sales assistant after having her children.

Commenting on their years together, Mr Binns said: “It’s been brilliant – I’d do it all again.”

Mrs Binns, who has enjoyed sequence and ballroom dancing, said: “It hasn’t all been plain sailing, but otherwise we’ve both been very lucky.”

Mr and Mrs McLaren, of Long Lee Lane, first met each other in 1950 while out walking with friends in Keighley’s Devonshire Park.

Mr McLaren, 81, who is originally from Milngavie in Scotland, was a soldier with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders for five years. Shortly after meeting his future wife, he was posted to Bermuda, where he mostly carried out ceremonial and guard duties.

He said: “After I got back from three years abroad, we were married the next Boxing Day at Keighley Parish Church – I was a quick worker!”

The couple worked together as driving instructors, and ran Airedale School of Motoring in Station Bridge. They used to live in Riddlesden, but have been based in Long Lee for more than 30 years. They have a daughter – Alison – and two grandchildren.

Mrs McLaren, 80, who was born in Liverpool, was a keen horse rider and also plays the organ.

Mr McLaren, who played cricket and rugby in his spare time, said: “We still go to Blackpool for the odd mid-weeker. We love each other and we enjoy each other’s company.”


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