Former Bewsey mayor celebrates 70 sweet years of marriage

James and Dorothy Hayes

The couple on their wedding day

First published in News

BEER running out at 9pm in the evening sounds like a modern day nightmare at your big day.


But 70 years ago that is just what happened to James and Dorothy Hayes.


The Bewsey couple reach the impressive platinum wedding landmark on Tuesday after first meeting at the age of 17.


James said: “The war was on and things were very strict even when you got married. We had to buy coupons for the catering. There was a lady with a big family near Dorothy’s mother and she used to buy the coupons from her.


“It was brilliant. We had never had a summer’s day like it since.


“We had our reception at the Ring O’Bell’s next to St Elphin’s which is where we got married.
“The pub only got so much beer because of the rations on sugar and they ran out of beer at 9pm.”


And after they tied the knot the couple, both aged 91, made sure they celebrated in style.


“Our honeymoon was the first time we had been abroad - we went to North Wales,” chuckled James. “It was the first time either of us had a holiday. Since then we have been all around the world.”


But a stand out moment for the pair during their time together was when they were Mayor and Mayoress of Warrington in 1981/82.


The couple remember driving around to street parties in the new mayoral car at the time and a woman in Penketh said: “I thought it was Al Capone turning up.”


Former train driver James served as a Labour councillor for 26 years in the Bewsey ward before retiring in the 80s.


“It was hard work because there was no internet and there were more cups of tea served in our living room than anywhere else in Bewsey,” said James.


The couple will celebrate their special anniversary with their four children, nine grand children and 10 great grandchildren on Tuesday.


But what is their secret to such a long and happy marriage.


“I think it’s been because Dorothy is so special,” said James, and Dorothy agreed the same about James.


“We have done the things we like doing and have helped each other along the way.”

 

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