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Love at first sight leads to 60 years of wedded bliss for South Shields couple

Terence and Jean Sweeney of South Shields, are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.'Picture by Tom Banks
Terence and Jean Sweeney of South Shields, are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.'Picture by Tom Banks

It was love at first sight for a South Tyneside couple who celebrate 60 years of wedded bliss today.

Terry and Jean Sweeney met when they both worked at The Derwent Water Hotel in Keswick in the Lake District.

Terence and Jean Sweeney on their wedding day

Terence and Jean Sweeney on their wedding day

From the minute their eyes met, their romance blossomed and a year later they ended up tying the knot.

Now, six decades on, the couple, who live in Highfield Road, South Shields, are set to mark their diamond anniversary, with a break away.

They will then return to enjoy a party where they will be joined by family and friends to celebrate.

Jean, 80, who was a chambermaid when she first met kitchen porter Terry, revealed the secret to a long and happy marriage is “give and take.”

There certainly has been struggles but a lot of fun too.”

Jean Sweeney

She added: “There has to be give and take in a relationship. We have had our ups and downs like everyone else, and bringing up six children there certainly has been struggles, but a lot of fun too.”

Following their marriage the couple moved back to the North East, first setting up home in Tyne Dock, before moving to Highfield Road.

Jean took on a job as a home help for 12 years before retiring due to arthritis.

Meanwhile, Terry, who is originally from Sunderland, worked as a conductor on the trolley buses. He was one of the last conductors when motor buses were introduced by South Shields Corporation.

He went to become a bus driver, working for Economics Busways, then later Stagecoach, before taking early retirement in 1996.

When asked what attratced Terry, now 81, to Jean, he said: “She was the prettiest girl in the hotel.”

Their daughter Jackie Astley said: “You couldn’t ask for better parents. If we ever have a problem, no matter how big or small, they were and are always there for us all.

“We are all so happy for them, as it was truly love at first sight, and they are still very much in love to this day.”

The couple have six children - Terence, Mark, Peter, Paul, Jackie and Sonia, and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.