‘We have just got on with it’
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
JUST getting on with it and having respect for other people is the secret to a successful marriage say an upper dale couple celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.
However, chatting to Alan and Jean Patricia Allsopp, from Middleton-in-Teesdale, it is evident that a good measure of humour and banter have helped them along the way. After revealing they met through the Young Liberals in Yorkshire’s West Riding, Mrs Allsop said: “He was always standing up at meetings giving evidence and I always thought I wish he would shut up.”
Their lives together would feature a great deal of public spirited community involvement, with Mr Allsopp being the first Liberal to be elected to Dewsbury County Borough Council and would serve as a councillor and an alderman for many years.
He also spent 35 years as a magistrate at Dewsbury Magistrates’ Court.
The 89-year-old stood for parliament five times and although he never won the seat, he is proud to have never lost his deposit. Mr Allsopp said: “I must say throughout my public life I have been supported all the time by Jean. I couldn’t have done it without her.”
Mrs Allsop added: “We did a lot of door knocking – they don't do that anymore.”
She pointed out that councillors and magistrates were not paid for the time they gave up in those days.
Their public lives would later earn them a trip to Buckingham Palace for a garden party in 1970.
Professionally Mrs Allsop worked as a clerk for a firm of solicitors and her husband worked in engineering.
After being made redundant in his 50s Mr Allsopp turned to his interest in antiques and their working lives were transformed as they began attending fairs all around the region.
Mrs Allsopp said: “We went out in all weathers at six o' clock in the morning.”
Her husband added: “It took an hour-and-a-half to get the stall up and an hour-and-a-half to get it down. We didn’’ make a lot of money but it kept us going and paid the bills.”
The couple continued in the trade for more than two decades, only retiring in their early 70s. Mr Allsopp said: “One of the most remarkable moments of our marriage was the birth of our first daughter. She was a breech baby and I had to help the midwife.”
Their marriage produced two daughters, five grand-children and three great-grandchildren.
They moved to Middleton-in-Teesdale to be closer to their family.
Mr Allsopp said: “We have always tried to pull together. We have been brought up to respect other people and we have brought up our children to respect other people. We are very proud of our children and our grandchildren.”
In revealing another secret to marital success Mr Allsopp joked: “I've always done as I’ve been told.”
To which his wife replied: “He is also a good liar.”
The couple celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with the lunch club they attend as well as during a family gathering.