Active couple celebrate 60 years of marriage and dancing

Lillian and George Harnett celebrate their Diamond wedding
Lillian and George Harnett celebrate their Diamond wedding
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A couple who first set eyes on each other across a dance floor are celebrating 60 years of life together.

Lilian Harnett, nee Waite, and her husband George as they joined in a square dance at Molly Affleck’s in Sunderland.

George and Lillian Harnett on their wedding day

George and Lillian Harnett on their wedding day

How the pair, who live in Hendon, have marked their diamond wedding anniversary together, with the Harnetts still friends with the same group they shared from that time.

They married at St Nicholas Church in Rectory Bank, Boldon, with Lilan walking across to the chapel from the nearby Wheatsheaf pub, which was being run by her parents Lilian and Jack at the time - they later went on to run the Ryhope Grange.

During her own career Lilian, now 80, worked as a nursery nurse, while George, 86, followed his family, including his father George and uncle Albert, into the chimney sweeping business, helping to keep the flues of Sunderland Corporation, then council buildings, free, including many schools.

Lilian is well known as a keep fit instructor of 50 years standing, taking classes at Redby Community Centre, and was also part of a tap dancing team which claimed victory Gentoo’s Seniors’ Got Talent.

I think its absolutely amazing we’re celebrating 60 years.

Lilian Harnett

George is passionate about his allotment and visits most days and during their years together, they have enjoyed outdoor pursuits as man and wife, as well as with their friends.

The couple are parents to Adele Pescod, 58, and Christina Gill, 56, and have four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Lilian said: “When we met, square dancing was all the craze, and we met on a night out.

“Our wedding day was really lovely.

“I think its absolutely amazing we’re celebrating 60 years.

“I can’t quite believe it and really, I don’t feel 80, I still feel like we’re 25.

“We never really argue and George as a character is so funny.

“We have our own activities and then we come back together.”

The couple still live in the home in Gray Road that they moved into after their wedding.

They had lived in a flat in the building, with family members living on the other floor, before they later bought the house.