Pub's reopening is the perfect anniversary gift for one South Shields couple

One South Shields couple had more cause than most to celebrate the latest easing of lockdown restrictions.

The Government gave pubs and restaurants the all-clear to reopen from Saturday, July 4 – subject to social distancing rules.

And for Keith and Jennifer Smith, that meant the chance to return to the New Sundial on South Shields seafront, as they have every July 4 for the last 27 years, to mark their wedding anniversary.

Jennifer, 55, said: "We were the first wedding here and we come every year to celebrate. Lockdown would have ended the tradition.

Keith and Jennifer Smith celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary at the New Sundial, where they celebrate every year.

“We were really happy when we heard that was not going to happen after all these years.”

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Jennifer and Keith, 52, were celebrating with son Matty, 25, and Keith's brother Rob, 58, who had made the trip from Manchester.

With Keith and Jennifer working for UK Docks and the Halifax, they have been largely unaffected by lockdown.

Keith added: “We have both still been going in. It is really only the weekends that have changed, for us at least.”

The couple were faced with the prospect of missing out on their family tradition for the first time since they tied the knot at St Bede’s Church in Jarrow back in 1992.

But Rob had already decided his brother and sister-in-law would not miss their special day, lockdown or no lockdown.

He said: "If they had been closed, we were going to sit outside with our bottles and cans anyway!”

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