Hebburn couple celebrate 60 years of marriage after RAF romance

Jim and Jean Park celebrate their Diamond anniversary
Jim and Jean Park celebrate their Diamond anniversary

A couple who met while serving in the armed forces are to mark six decades of marriage with a family get-together.

Jim and Jean Park were both carrying out their national service with the RAF in Gloucester when they first lay eyes on each other.

Jean, who is originally from Leeds, was a Leading Aircraft Woman with the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) while Jim, who was from Gateshead, left the RAF as a corporal.

Both completed three years service with the RAF – which ran from 1952 to 1955 – before the couple moved to the North East to set up 
home.

They were married on July 2, 1955, at St Joseph’s Church in Gateshead.

Jim went on to work as a newspaper proof reader. Jean spent her working life as a nanny.

The couple, who now live in Monkton Hall in Hebburn, went on to have five children, and now have eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Jim, 82, said: “We both worked in the same mess which is where we met.

“Once we completed our service we moved to the North East where we were married.

“Jean was just a lovely person, I was attracted to her straight away. I had a motorbike which is why I think I attracted her attention.

“I still remember our wedding day. The reception cost us £36 which was a lot of money back then. Everything went so well.”

When asked what was the couple’s secret to a long and happy marriage, Jim said: “If I knew the secret, I’d bottle it and sell it. We just get on so well.”

The couple will be celebrating their marriage milestone at the White Lead in Blackett Street in Hebburn on Sunday.

They will be joined by their family to mark the occasion.