LOVE is all around for a South Tyneside couple toasting 50 years of wedded bliss.
Alfie and Marie Skiggs, of Ullswater Gardens in South Shields are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary today.
They went to the same school and the same place of work before Cupid’s arrow finally struck them – and they have never been apart since.
Mr Skiggs, 73 and his wife, 69, tied the knot on Saturday, March 2, 1963, and now, half a century on, they are putting their family first after a lifetime of work.
Among their plans for today are a meal with their family including their sons Kevin and Michael, daughter Tracey and five grandchildren.
Mrs Skiggs said: “We both went to Dean Road School, and I knew of Alfie but didn’t know him that well.
“Then we both worked in the warehouse at W Duncan. He was downstairs and I was upstairs.
“Alfie has worked hard his whole life, from 13, and I worked from 15. Alfie worked hard his whole life to provide for his family.”
Mrs Skiggs says couples also have to work hard to make marriages last, but the golden years of happy memories that result make it all worthwhile.
She added: “Me and Alfie do shout at each other, and we give as good as we get, but we love each other.
“Couples today just don’t stick at marriage, and many don’t get married at all.
“Our parents couldn’t afford to pay for our wedding, so we worked to pay for it ourselves and to get a flat to start off with in Laygate Place.”
Mr Skiggs said: “We have always worked together as a team.
“We went to the same school and worked together for a time. I was always chatting her up when we were at work.”
The school where they first crossed paths and the shop in which their relationship blossomed are both long since gone, and even the church they got married in, the original wooden building of St Mark’s and St Cuthbert’s Church, in King George Road, is no more, having burnt down later on in the 1960s.
Their love, however, has stood the test of time.