John and Irene’s platinum wedding

An Alfreton couple are celebrating 70 years of married life with their platinum wedding anniversary this week.

John and Irene Hassall were married in 1942 and have lived in the area ever since.

John, 90, said: “We have been happily married for the last 70 years. We have had a very happy family life and have a really good family.”

John was born in Alfreton and Irene was born at Somercotes. They met at a dance and were married at St Thomas’ Church in Somercotes when John was 20 and Irene was 19.

John said: “I started work on the railways as a shunter and left that because the money wasn’t good enough.

“I went to Swanwick Colliery and worked at the coal face until it shut.”

John served in the Home Guard during the war. He said: “It was what they called a reserved occupation and they didn’t let you join the Army.

“After the colliery closed, I went to Jersey Kapwood in Somercotes where I worked as a charge hand.

“My wife worked at the stocking factory in Somercotes until she had her first baby.”

The couple have a son and daughter. Anthony, now aged 66, lives in Selston and is recently retired from the building trade, but continues to work part-time in Sutton. He is married to Carol. Their daughter Susan is 65 and lives in Somercotes and is married to Ian.

The Hassalls have three grandchildren Wayne, Mark and Martin, and three great grandchildren Jamie, Bobby and Freya.

The pair first lived on Birchwood Lane for five years and have lived in Alfreton ever since.

The couple were avid dancers until very recently.

They have been members of Alfreton’s Palmer-Morewood Memorial Club for 47 years and John, who is a fan of fishing, bowling gardening and golf, still goes every weekend.

Irene is a big fan of knitting, bingo, soap operas and shopping.