Lancaster couple celebrate 60 years of marriage

Maureen and Denis Thorpe with their telegram from the Queen.
Maureen and Denis Thorpe with their telegram from the Queen.

A couple born and bred in Lancaster are celebrating 60 years of marriage.

Maureen and Denis Thorpe have lived in Lancaster all their lives.

Maureen and Denis Thorpe on their wedding day.

Maureen and Denis Thorpe on their wedding day.

Maureen, who was 83 on New Year’s Day, was brought up on Grasmere Road where she lived with her mum, sister Micheline and her brother Michael.

She attended Christ Church School and then later Dallas Road, until she was 15 when she left to start work.

Denis, who is 82, grew up on Primrose with his mum and dad and brothers Ged and Bernard.

He went to Bowerham School and then Greaves Secondary Modern. He particularly remembers being at Bowerham School the day they came to take down the iron railings for the ammunitions factory.

Maureen and Denis Thorpe on holiday recently.

Maureen and Denis Thorpe on holiday recently.

Maureen’s family were host to two children from Manchester during the war.

After Denis left school, he worked a few different jobs in Lancaster, building bicycles and servicing TVs. Then at 17, he signed up for National Service, and served in the tank regiment with the 14/16 King’s Royal Hussars in Malaya, Mombassa and Aiden.

In Maureen’s youth, she was a keen swimmer. She swam everyday at Kingsway baths, and also represented Lancaster in swimming galas.

When Denis left the armed forces, he enjoyed dancing and frequently visited the pier at the weekends, which was where he meet Maureen, when they were both 21.

Maureen worked then as a supervisor at K Shoes, and Denis was a colour matcher at Williamson’s.

They married shortly after Maureen turned 23, on January 9 1960. The couple’s first home was on Balmoral Road in Lancaster. In 1965, they moved to Canterbury Avenue when their son Christopher arrived. They then moved again some four years later to their present home, bought from new, when their daughter Rachel arrived in 1971.

After starting their family, Maureen stayed at home and looked after the home and children, while Denis went on to work for Storey’s, and then did a few years self employed, and finally he worked for 20 years at Cortaulds, until he retired in 1997.

Throughout their lives, the couple loved travelling, spending many years caravanning all over the UK with their family. Once the children were old enough not to want to go, Maureen and Denis loved going abroad on coach trips with Denis’s brother Ged and his wife Sallie. They visited many European countries, including Croatia, Malta and Germany.

Maureen never stopped caring for her family as she also devoted a lot of her time to looking after her granddaughters Rhiannon and Natalie, before she too took early retirement from Lancaster City Council in order to do so.

The pair both still enjoy spending time at home and in their garden, and spending time with their family, who luckily all live fairly close by.