South Shields couple celebrate 60 years of happiness
A South Shields couple who have travelled the world together are celebrating 60 years of wedded bliss.
Ronnie and Anna Smith from Lake Avenue in South Shields, are marking their Diamond Wedding Anniversary today, August 16, surrounded by their family.
Ronnie, 81, and Anna, 80, met outside of the cinema known as The Crown in Tyne Dock in their late teens and have been together ever since.
Anna was just 16 and a pupil at St Anthony’s school in Sunderland, when she bumped into Ronnie, then 18, who was working on a Gillespies Farm in East Boldon.
Four years later the pair married aged 20 and 22 respectively, at Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Tyne Dock.
The pair went on to have three children, Teresa Anderson, 59, Christine Lancaster, 55, and Brian Smith, 53.
They have seven grandchildren; Paul Anderson, Adam Ketchin, Kirsty Smith, Kevin Anderson, Sarah Ketchin, Grace Lancaster and Christopher Anderson.
They also have a great-grandson called Logan Patterson, eight.
On leaving school Anna worked as a office clerk at a garage and later as a clerk at Hugh and Wylie credit drapers before leaving to start her family.
She returned to work at South Tyneside Hospital as a domestic assistant and later a domestic manager, where she worked for 30 years before retiring.
Meanwhile Ronnie joined the army and was a lance corporal in the catering corps and for three years.
He later worked on the railway at Tyne Dock as a shunter and then took up a job as a milkman, later he started his own milk business.
The couple have now been retired for two decades, leaving work in their early 60s.
In retirement they have enjoyed many trips abroad to the likes of Egypt and India.
Anna said: “We go away every year for the winter.
“We go to Egypt for four or five months and have gone there for the last three years.
“We have also spent four months in Goa in India.”
On their long and happy marriage, Anna added: “Ronnie has a good sense of humour and I think that helps.”