Happy Diamond anniversary for Alan and Margaret

When Alan Howarth wanted to marry his sweetheart of three years, he had to apply for a special licence.

Friday, 9th June 2017, 12:55 pm
Updated Friday, 9th June 2017, 5:22 pm
Margaret and Alan Howarth
Margaret and Alan Howarth

When Alan Howarth wanted to marry his sweetheart of three years, he had to apply for a special licence.

The now 81-year-old was to carry out national service for two years, but wanted to wed Margaret before he left,

They married at St George’s Church, in Chorley, in 1957.

Photos of Alan and Margaret Howarth's wedding 60 years ago

Alan said: “I needed a special licence to get married because I was doing national service. I got my papers on a Monday and we wed that Saturday.

“We got married St George’s Church, as we were members of its associated All Saints mission church.”

The pair first laid eyes on each other at Tudor Dance Hall in 1954.

Alan added: “We met where most people met those days at the dance hall. I thought she was beautiful.”

Alan and Margaret Howarth celebrate 60 years

Margaret worked as a factory weaver and looked forward to Alan returning on his leave days. She gave birth to their first child - Alan Edwin - whilst Alan still had six months to serve.

When Alan returned they lived with his mum in Chorley.

He said: “After I left national service we applied for a council house, but as we had a room at my mum’s house, we didn’t meet requirements. My son had to sleep in a small cot on a table. Luckily we eventually got a house across the road in Chorley and welcomed our second child - a daughter - Caroline Margaret. We also now have two grandchildren, Madison and Ross.”

Alan worked at Leyland Motors for 40 years, where he worked his way up to becoming manager of the workshop for coaches.

Photos of Alan and Margaret Howarth's wedding 60 years ago

Sadly, Margaret, 78, was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour last September, which has caused her to become bedridden. Alan added: “Margaret has had radiotherapy at Royal Preston Hospital, but it doesn’t seem to have worked.

“Our love has got stronger and stronger. You have to trust each other and never go the next day with a row.”

The couple celebrated their anniversary a party with family at home.

Their daughter, Caroline Howarth, said: “My mum and dad are an inspiration. You don’t find many people hitting 60 years. They are so committed to each other and loyal. The way my dad looks after my mum is incredible. I am proud for them to be my parents. The way they have stood by each other is brilliant.”

Alan and Margaret Howarth celebrate 60 years