Couple’s 65th anniversary

Geoff and Gwen Hardy celebrate 65 years if wedded bliss.

Geoff and Gwen Hardy celebrate 65 years if wedded bliss.

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A Somercotes couple who met at a dinner dance celebrated a milestone 65 years of wedded bliss with a garden party this week.

Geoff and Gwen Hardy, of Springfield Crescent, first set eyes on each other while Geoff, now 87, was serving as a minesweeper in the Navy during World War Two in Gwen’s hometown of Harwich, Essex.

Gwen, 86, worked at a factory making sailors’ clothes when they met.

After Geoff swept her off her feet the couple married at St Nicholas’s Church in the town on June 14, 1947, before moving to Somercotes a year later as Lincolnshire born Geoff, who still drives despite approaching his 90th year, sought work in Derbyshire’s mining industry.

He worked at several opencast sites across the area, including Denby Colliery, until 1962, when he then went on to operating earth moving equipment around Derbyshire until his retirement.

Gwen took up a post at the Evalastic hosiery company in Alfreton, but left in 1950 when she became pregnant with their first son David.

They went on to have two daughters, Susan and Mandy, and three grandchildren, Clair, 34, Keiran, 19 and Jamie, 14.

The blue sapphire anniversary couple say nowadays their loves include gardening and holidaying.

the couple enjoy trips to coastal favourite Skegness, close to Geoff’s hometown of Boston, Lincolnshire.

Daughter , of Quarry Road, Somercotes, says the key to their happiness is having a strong family around them.

She said: “I see my parents most days still. We are all very, very, close.

“It’s what keeps you going I think!”