HAPPY COUPLE: William and Glennis Skipsey, of Middleton-in-Teesdale, are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary this week
HAPPY COUPLE: William and Glennis Skipsey, of Middleton-in-Teesdale, are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary this week

A DALE couple who first set eyes on each other on the dancefloor 60 years ago are preparing to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

William and Glennis Skipsey, who live in Middleton-in-Teesdale, met in their twenties at a dance at the University of Hull. Mr Skipsey was 28 when he recalls first catching sight of his wife.

The 88-year-old said: “I did notice this young lady in the distance. I remember she was the tallest in the group. I thought I would go and have a dance with her.”

Mrs Skipsey, 82, said: “I think it was towards the end of a dance. There were not many people on the dancefloor when this fella loomed out of the distance.”

At the time, Mr Skipsey was working in a laboratory for Reckitts, in the city, while Mrs Skipsey was employed in the personnel department at The Distillery Company, which was part of British Industrial Solvents. The pair, who are originally from Hull, exchanged their wedding vows on November 29, in 1958 at St Peter’s Church, in Bilton. They enjoyed a week’s honeymoon in London which included a visit to the West End to watch The Mousetrap.

Sadly, they recall their romantic getaway was cut short when Mrs Skipsey was struck down with flu.

This resulted in a trip to hospital and it took some time for Mrs Skipsey to recover but they agree it is something they can laugh about now. The pair set up home together on the outskirts of their home city.

They stayed for a couple of years before moving to York. Mr Skipsey said: “We were great movers. We were restless.”

From York the couple moved to Huntington and then to Pocklington before living in London for a couple of years. Unable to settle in the city, they eventually went north in 1972 and brought up their three children – Richard, Jane and Lesley – in Barnard Castle. In 1992, the couple lived in Charente, in southwestern France, before returning to the dale in 2012.

Mrs Skipsey said: “We like Teesdale very much.”

Mr Skipsey said: “The main reason for returning was our advance in years. I have occasional regrets because I loved it in France but I went along with the flow.”

The couple have five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They are looking forward to celebrating their milestone anniversary with family this weekend.

Speaking of the past 60 years, Mr Skipsey said: “We have had a set amount of fortune and a bit of misfortune but we have kept going. We were never ones for doing things separately. We did things together and involved the children in most of what we did. We have lots of happy memories.”

Mrs Skipsey added: “I don’t know what glues it together. You have your ups and downs like everyone does. The secret is to just keep going.”