Diamonds are forever

Last Updated: September 12, 2016 This post was written by Clive Price

diamond-wedding-picture-4-1It’s easy to get carried away when celebrating your 60th wedding anniversary – especially if the party takes place by the Anderton Boat Lift.

That’s how Society residents Revd Pat Billsborrow and husband Bob marked their Diamond Wedding. They had a summer ‘do’ in the marquee next to this massive machine that’s perched on riverbanks like a giant iron spider.


Built in 1875 to carry cargo boats 50 foot from the Weaver Navigation to the Trent and Mersey Canal, the lift is a popular party setting. Pat and Bob enjoyed their anniversary there – with 28 friends and relations.

That number included four children and their spouses, 12 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. In addition, Bob’s best man turned up with his wife – the two men had known each other since infant school.

Pat – a former chair of the MMHS board – was also celebrating her 80th birthday. That meant she and her 86-year-old husband received a staggering total of nearly 100 cards to mark these two life moments.

‘Because of Bob’s mobility problems, the family organised something here in Northwich by the boat lift,’ said Pat. ‘The children could play in the playground and watch the canal boats. We had a very nice afternoon.’

The journey to their Diamond Wedding started in 1953 when Bob asked Pat for a dance at the Corporation Hall, Stockton-on-Tees. ‘He was a Scout and I was a Guide,’ Pat recalled. ‘He had brown knees from Egypt!’

diamond wedding pictureLASTING MARRIAGE

Dating in the 50s was different than today. ‘It was a lot more inhibited,’ Pat smiled. They got married at St Hilda’s Church, Hartlepool, in July 1956. They spent their honeymoon in Edinburgh.

So what’s the secret of such a long lasting marriage? ‘Oh, putting up with each other,’ Pat laughed. ‘Well, he’s put up with me!’ (Pictured – Pat and Bob with their anniversary card from the Queen, and the happy couple with their wider family)