John and Joan Tomlin were recently joined by family and friends – as well as receiving a card from Her Majesty the Queen – to celebrate their Blue Sapphire anniversary, commemorating 65 years of marriage.
The couple, both from Shildon met at the youth club at St John’s Church, the same venue where they would marry on 12th July 1952.
John, who is 90 years old, was born in Wesley Crescent and attended the Council School before starting as an apprentice at Shildon Works when he was 14.
After serving his time as a fitter, he moved to York Carriage Works for four years before returning to Shildon BR in 1953.
In 1960 he joined Whessoe in Darlington as manager of the drawing office, where he remained until retirement.
Joan (nee Metcalfe) was born in Paddy’s Row and educated at Timothy Hackworth and Bishop Auckland Grammar School. She also joined Shildon Works, in the accounts office.
Later she worked as an interviewer for the Government Resource Unit, carrying our surveys all around the area, particularly in the Dales.
In their younger days, the couple were keen travellers and have visited countries across the globe, including the Middle and Far East, Russia and the USA.
They also had a passion for sequence dancing, sometimes attending four nights a week and also enjoyed walking in the Lakes.
After getting married, they lived in East View Terrace where they designed a bungalow together in Fulton Court, living there for the past 25 years.
Joan has been at Redworth House for the past ten months and John calls every day, taking Joan for regular walks to Locomotion Musuem.
The couple enjoyed a small celebratory party with family and friends.