Heanor couple celebrate golden wedding anniversary in style

Heanor couple John and Vera Bailey have celebrated their golden wedding.
Heanor couple John and Vera Bailey have celebrated their golden wedding.

A Heanor couple have celebrated their golden wedding in style - with a holiday to Cape Verde and a special party with family and friends.

Doting pair John and Vera Bailey jetted back from the exotic Atlantic island for the special celebration, which took place at Heanor Miners’ Welfare on Friday - the day of their anniversary.

John and Vera Bailey's wedding day in June 1969.

John and Vera Bailey's wedding day in June 1969.

They received a number of gifts to mark their magical milestone, including champagne breakfast and afternoon tea and vouchers for retail giants John Lewis and Marks & Spencer.

Romance originally blossomed for John, 72, and his 69-year-old wife Vera, nee Hutsby, after meeting at Langley Mill Miners’ Welfare in 1966.

Vera gained his attention by throwing crisps at her future husband.

They courted for around three years before tying the knot at St John’s Church, Aldercar, on June 14 1969, with a reception at Langley Mill church hall afterwards.

John and Vera honeymooned in Skegness in August 1969.

The golden couple have lived in the same house on Marshall Street since getting married and they have three children, with their first child Steven born in 1975.

He was followed by Paul in 1978 and finally Andrew in 1981.

All three sons are now married with children of their own - Sophie 13, Chloe 10, William seven, Elisabeth 22 months, Daisy six, and three-year-old Willow.

In his younger days, John became a butcher boy at 15 and later went on to work for Moorgreen workshops for 17 years.

He became a familiar figure locally when he worked as a postman, spending 20 years on the rounds until his retirement in 2009.

Vera began her working life at 15 when she took up employment at Aristoc in Langley Mill.

She worked there for seven years before moving to I R Morley’s in Heanor until 1975, when Steven was born.

In 1985, Vera returned to work on an evening shift at well-known Heanor pudding-maker Matthew Walker.

She then moved onto days in 1990 until 2010 when she retired.

John enjoys watching Derby County FC, solving crosswords, gardening and holidays.

His wife Vera enjoys reading, outings with friends and holidays.

The couple says the secret to a good marriage is ‘to spend time together, help each other, talk, get family around and play with the grandchildren, to whom we give a helping hand whilst the parents are at work’.