Demise of fields where couple met mars diamond wedding landmark

HAPPY COUPLE -- Sheila and Ted Parkinson
HAPPY COUPLE -- Sheila and Ted Parkinson
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A HUCKNALL couple have celebrated their landmark 60th wedding anniversary with a backdrop of sadness — because the playing fields where they first met are on the verge of vanishing.

Ted Parkinson and wife Sheila (nee Dobson) first saw each other as members of a youth club that met on the Wigwam Lane playing fields in Hucknall in the 1940s.

Now the bulldozers have moved in on the Wigwam, which is earmarked for new houses. And Sheila, of the Cahn memorial bungalows off Park Drive, said: “It makes me very sad. The fields were given for the people of Hucknall to enjoy.

“Had it not been for the fields, I wouldn’t have met my lovely husband.”

Sheila (79), who grew up on Portland Road, Hucknall, admits she couldn’t “stand the sight” of Ted when they first met!

But five years later, on October 20 1951, they were married at the former Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church on Carlingford Road. They had their honeymoon in Blackpool and returned to their first home on Vine Terrace.

Ted became a building apprentice at Hanson’s on Watnall Road and later worked for several building firms until the age of 65.

For 44 years, the couple lived on Lime Tree Road on Welbeck Estate in the town.

Sheila worked for 20 years as a ward receptionist at Nottingham City Hospital up to the age of 63.

Sadly, two of the couple’s four children, sons Andrew and Tony, have died. Andrew (53) suffered from bi-polar disease and died in 2008, while Tony (44) was killed by pancreatic cancer in 2005.

Ted and Sheila’s surviving children are Jill Parkinson (51), of Papplewick Lane, Hucknall, and Michael (59), of Abbots Drive in the town.

In total, Sheila and Ted have five grandchildren and a great grandson.

Ted, who celebrated his 81st birthday on Tuesday, is currently living at the Hallcroft Care Home in Hucknall, suffering from dementia.

To mark the diamond wedding, the couple threw a party at the home on Croft Avenue for all the residents. This included a buffet meal and a performance by singer and magician Freddie Fortune.

Several members of the Parkinsons’ family attended, and the couple were showered with gifts.