It’s a diamond day for a former Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside.
Tom and Alma Pigott tied the knot 60 years ago today.
The happy couple, of Simonside, South Shields, who were Mayor and Mayoress from 2010 to 2011, will be raising a glass as they celebrate with loved ones.
Mr Pigott, 84, first met his future wife, 82, at a youth club in North Street, South Shields, and they set their sights on each other when the club took a trip to Blackpool.
They said ‘I do’ on August 11, 1956 at St Michael’s Church, in South Shields, and have two children and one granddaughter.
Mr Pigott, a former Labour councillor for the town’s Biddick Hall ward, said: “We were both members of the youth club and that’s how we got together. Youth clubs used to organise trips all over the country and there was a trip to Blackpool and that’s when we really got together. We courted for about four years then we got married.”
Mr Pigott served as an electrical technician in the Royal Air Force from 1954 to 1956, then went on to work a number of jobs, in shipyards, as an electrical engineer, and at the British Gas research station.
Mrs Pigott trained as a tailoress at Wood’s the tailors, in South Shields, before going on to work for the local authority running a play group at West Park Hut.
Mr Pigott said: “I came out of the forces on August 8 and we were married on August 11. I had three days of freedom before I got tied up for the rest of my life.”
After retiring, Mr Pigott decided to become a councillor.
He said: “When I left I decided to do something useful so I joined the Labour party and became a councillor. I did that for 12 years until I retired last year.
“The year we were Mayor and Mayoress was very exciting. It was a privilege to represent the 160,000 people that live in South Tyneside. It was an honour and a privilege.
“There are some magnificent people in South Tyneside that have devoted their lives to helping others, and some fantastic organisations, and it was a tremendous year for us seeing all of that up close.”
Mr Pigott said the key to a long, happy marriage, is having a laugh.
He added: “You’ve got to have a sense of humour and if you can have a laugh together then you’ll always have fun.
“Alma and I have travelled together, we enjoy going to the pictures and we both love music, and we enjoy going to the Customs House – we’re very well known there by Tommy the Trumpeter.
“As long as you’ve got your own interests, the love of your family, and each other, you’ll be fine.”