A Warsop couple who have reached their platinum wedding anniversary have put their 70 happy years together down to maintaining a degree of independence - and putting on their dancing shoes.
Tom, 91, and Hazel Pearson, 90, of Hammerwater Drive, still regularly take to the floor for modern sequence dancing on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
But they have also retained their individual hobbies and interests throughout their seven decades of marriage, with Tom having been a volunteer in youth sports coaching for the Central Council for Physical Recreation (CCPR) in his younger years, while Hazel has been a keen gardener.
The couple reached the milestone on 8th January and received a message marking the occasion signed by her Majesty the Queen. They celebrated with a family meal at the Hostess Restaurant in Sookholme on 12th January.
“I think having interests and helping young people has helped to keep me young,” said Tom. “Hazel and I have always helped each other - and that’s the way it has to be.”
Tom, who was born in Mansfield Woodhouse and grew up in Church Warsop, worked for 47 years at Warsop Main Colliery before retirement.
He also served as a magistrate in Mansfield and Worksop and as an agent for Mansfield MP Don Concannon.
Hazel, née Baker, who grew up in Shirebrook, worked in domestic service as a kitchen maid at East Bridgford Hall and in Gainsborough at munitions factory Rose Brothers during World War Two.
She was also employed at Barringer, Wallis and Manners the Co-operative and as a window dresser at British Home Stores.
“It doesn’t always go smoothly in marriage, but we’ve always shared and listened to each other,” said Hazel.
“At the same time we kept a degree of our independence and enjoyed our own hobbies, as well as doing things together, such as the dancing.”
The couple have one daughter, Avis, a granddaughter and grandson and six great grandchildren, aged between three and 17.
Although the couple did not honeymoon immediately after their wedding at Shirebrook Parish Church in 1944, they later enjoyed a break in Blackpool.
And they have made a point of travelling every since, visiting the likes of Spain, France, Austria, Romania, Yugoslavia and Germany.
“Tom said we would have a holiday every year and aside from the year we got our first cooker - we couldn’t afford both - he has been as good as his word,” said Hazel.