Shift work – sprinkled with love – is the secret recipe for wedded bliss, say one South Tyneside couple celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary today.
Jim Hogg first met his wife-to-be to be as he worked in the railway signalling box at the top of Stanhope Road, in South Shields.
The then 18-year-old lured Alice, who worked opposite in Wright’s Biscuit Factory, with his paraffin lamps.
A laughing Jim, 80, said: “I had various coloured paraffin lamps in my signal box, which she could see from her factory window.
“So I told her they were different flavours of lemonade, and the rest is history.”
The pair were married in 1955 at St Hilda’s Church at Market Place, South Shields, and initially moved in with Alice’s mum in Cleadon Park, South Shields.
We’ve managed to get the right combination.Jim Hogg
However, in 1970 they received one of the railway cottages at Tyne Dock
Together the couple, who now live at Bardon Court, in Harton Moor, South Shields, raised their son David, who is 59, and daughter Alison, who passed away in 1997, aged 33.
Mr Hogg was made redundant in 1964 and got a job with British Coal, working initially as a guard at Boldon Colliery pit and then he later took on various roles at Westoe Colliery.
Mrs Hogg, who is also 80, worked as a housekeeper – a job she kept until three years ago.
The couple, have grandchildren Kirsty, 29, and Peter, 26, plus great-grandchildren Jessica, six, and Charlie, two.
Mr Hogg said: “We’ve always enjoyed cycling and going on walks, especially on a Sunday – we’d always go down to the pier and have a walk along the seafront.
“We enjoy going to the cinema too, Alice likes watching the films and I have a nap.”
When asked what the secret to their 60 years of marriage, the couple have different theories.
Mr Hogg said: “I think it’s been shift work, I used to get home and go to bed, while Alice was ready to go out to work.
“But Alice thinks it’s been all down to us loving each other. We’ve managed to get the right combination right anyway.”