Couple 70 not out

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A SPECIAL couple, who tied the knot during World War Two, have celebrated 70 years of marriage.

Mary and Norman Rigby, of Cyprus Road, Heysham, celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary at Whitelow House nursing home in Morecambe, where Mary has lived for the past three years.

Both 91 years of age, they were married at St Peter’s Church, Heysham, in 1942.

Apparently it snowed that day, so the weather was as unpredictable then, as it is now. Mary, originally from Sheffield, came to Morecambe in 1931 with her parents.

Norman, originally from Accrington, came to live in Heysham with his parents the same year, although his mother’s family originated from Heysham, and he has traced his family’s Heysham connection back as far as 1796.

Mary lived with her parents on Bold Street, Morecambe, during World War Two.

She remembers the many Canadian Air Force men who lodged at their boarding house while training before being deployed for action.

Norman served in World War Two, and received his army call-up papers on his 21st birthday in January, 1942. He served in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, and was attached to Field Marshall Montgomery’s Battle Axe Division, which fought at the Battle of Monte Casino.

Mary worked as a shop assistant, and was employed at Harrison’s Greengrocers in Heysham Village for many years. Norman, a joiner by trade, worked at Middleton Towers Holiday Camp before it was taken over by Fred Pontin. He also worked for many years as a self-employed builder.

The married couple have three sons, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.