Community stalwarts celebrate Diamond milestone

Maureen and Ken Golightly
Maureen and Ken Golightly are celebrating 60 years of happy marriage.

A Ferryhill couple who were both born during the Second World War are celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary this month, after tying the knot at Broom Chapel on 25th March, 1961.

Maureen and Ken Golightly met at the Station Dance in Mainsforth Hall when they were just 14 and 15 years old – a venue which the couple would later use for the wedding reception.

Ken was born in Brunel Street, Dean Bank in 1940, while Maureen, nee Willans, was born in Dean Road, Ferryhill, the following year.

After leaving Broom School in 1958 Maureen got her first job as a Ledger Clerk at Smart & Browns. Six years later she moved on to Winterton Hospital in Sedgefield, where she taught crafts and later became a Nursing Assistant.

She was employed at the mental health hospital until 2000, but was also highly active within her local community, having established Broom Chapel Youth Club and Ferryhill Youth Theatre in 1960.

She was also a British Red Cross Youth Leader and served 12 years on Ferryhill Town Council and Sedgefield Borough Council.

Her outstanding community work led to Maureen becoming a finalist of the ‘Women of the World’ awards in 1984.

Maureen has also been a proud and active member of Ferryhill Operatic Society for 62 years – a happy relationship that is even longer than her 60-year marriage!

Ken, who attended Dean Bank and then Merrington schools, began his working life by undertaking a six-year Mechanics apprenticeship at Heppels of Croxdale in 1955.

In 1963 he joined his wife at Smart & Browns, where he worked as a Tool Setter.

Outside of work Ken was also active within the community, being a member of the British Red Cross and serving for 20 years as Treasurer of Ferryhill Workingmen’s Club and Leek Club. He was also a member of Ferryhill Town Council for eight years.

The pair’s community work was recognised in 1995 when they were invited to the prestigious Palace Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

The couple will be joined from a distance for muted celebrations – at least until lockdown restrictions are over – by their three sons; Warren, Regan and Denver, as well as seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, whom they both adore.

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