Diamond couple celebrate 60 years

Boston Spa couple Joan and Frank Hill who celebrated their Diamond Wedding in December. (S)
Boston Spa couple Joan and Frank Hill who celebrated their Diamond Wedding in December. (S)

A Boston Spa couple have toasted 60 diamond years of marriage.

Joan, 83, and Frank Hill, 80, last week celebrated their landmark anniversary with a ceilidh and hog road, organised by their five children, in the village hall.

And the couple’s secret to a long marriage was explained by Joan who said: “Probably tolerance and give and take, not forgetting love of course, plus a great and supportive family.”

Joan, who was brought up in Thorner, met Glaswegian Frank, in 1950 when he went to work on Colonel Armitage’s farm after sent to the village by the YMCA (British Boys for British Farms).

His favourite expression is “I only came for a fortnight” but, having done well, he was asked if he would like to stay.

After about six months he joined the Home and Colonial Stores in Leeds.

At 18 he was called up for his National Service but opted instead to sign on in the Regular Army Royal Corps of Signals for five years.

For most of those years he was stationed in Berlin, Rhineland but was posted to 2nd Infantry Division at Hilden, near Dusseldorf, where he was joined by Joan, who became his wife in 1953.

Shortly afterwards he was promoted to Sergeant. While there, their first child, Christine, was born in 1955.

After his demob he joined the West Riding Police and was stationed in Rawmarsh, South Yorkshire for 10 years, where David, Catherine, Andrew and Michael were born.

In 1967 he was posted to Boston Spa as the village bobby where he served for a further nine years, before being promoted Sergeant stationed at Chapeltown Police Station for his final 11 years, where he served during the troubled riots in the 70’s.

He finally retired from the Police in 1987, and after a year of golf and other restful and enjoyable activities, he joined the Prison Service at Thorp Arch as Storeman, from where he eventually retired in 1998.

He enjoyed playing golf at Wetherby, where he was a member, at least twice a week, until ill health forced him to give it up over the last couple of years.

Joan, who trained as a shorthand/typist at Pitmans during the War, left school at 14 and worked at the CIS Insurance in Leeds for nearly four years, before leaving in 1949 to work at John Smith’s Brewery in the Personnel Office where, after five very happy years she left in 1954 to join Frank in Germany.

In 1969, after being a housewife and raising their five children, Joan started work at Thorp Arch Grange School, where she spent 20 very happy years until the school closed in 1989.

After being retired for three months she also went to work at Thorp Arch Prison in the Admin Department and eventually retired in 1995.

During her late teens Joan was a hockey player in the Saturday Ladies and Sunday mixed, right through the winter months and in the summer was the captain and secretary of the women’s cricket team. She also played badminton and tennis.

Since retirement Joan has been the secretary of Boston Spa Village Hall.

The couple are the very proud grandparents of nine grandchildren and now a two-year-old great granddaughter, who all joined them and their relatives and friends for the Ceilidh.

Instead of presents the happy couple asked for donations to Martin House Children’s Hospice at Clifford and raised £700.

Joan and Frank thanked everyone who donated to the fund.

m is 82 born 1931(Leeds) and Dad is 80 born1933 (Glasgow)

Joan Marlow - lived at Thorner

Frank was from Glasgow.


Christine Kidd - 58, married to Derek for 34 years. Live in Tadcaster. 2 children - Rebecca(30), married to Simon Wray & Matthew(27).

David - 55, married to Carol for 31 years. Live in Boston Spa. 2 children - Laura(25) & Katie(24)

Cathy Green - 53, married to Roger for 24 years. Live in Barnetby, Lincolnshire. 2 children - Hannah (22) & Bradley (20)

Andrew - 50 married to Bev for 25 years. Live in Tadcaster. 1 child - Andrew (18)

Michael - 48 married to Debbie for 10 years. Live in France. Michael has 2 children - Rachel (22) & Stephanie (20). Rachel has a daughter, Eloise (2).