Sharing a diamond year with the Queen

11 Warmsley close Bempton'Diamond Wedding couple'William & Elizabeth Sanders'PA1212-10
11 Warmsley close Bempton'Diamond Wedding couple'William & Elizabeth Sanders'PA1212-10

A BEMPTON couple who got engaged when George VI was on the throne are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary - and have received congratulations from his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

William Sanders, now 86, met his wife-to-be Elizabeth in 1950, when they were both employed by a newspaper publisher in Carlisle.

They became engaged in 1951, and when King George died unexpectedly in February 1952 the press was full of the somber news.

“We were among the first to learn about the King’s death, as we worked in a newspaper office,” said Mrs Sanders, 82. “It was very big news, very sad.”

The couple married on March 19 1952, and were still working in Carlisle when the Queen was crowned on June 2 1953 - a month that also saw the birth of their first child, Colin.

Mrs Sanders said: “He was a Coronation baby, born on 21st of June. We went on to have two daughters, Christine and Jo, and now we have six granddaughters, one great-granddaughter, and two great-grandsons.”

The couple moved to Bridlington in 1959 after Mr Sanders successfully applied for a job at Rigg Holdings, a photogravure company on Bessingby Way.

He worked his way up the company, eventually becoming Works Director; by the time he retired in 1990, he had been with the company for 31 years.

Mrs Sanders said: “I went to work part time for Allens, which sold nice ladies’ fashions, but after a few years it closed and after that I didn’t take another job.”

In 1987 they moved to Bempton, and have lived there ever since. Their children and grand-children have grown up and some have moved out of the area, but they all remain in close contact.

The whole family managed to come to a special get-together at the Bull and Sun, in celebration of their landmark anniversary.

Mrs Sanders looks back on her married life with a great deal of contentment.

She said: “I remember when Princess Elizabeth became Queen, and it was a big, big surprise to get a card from her!

“We’re lucky to have had such a long marriage, and to have lived in such a lovely village.

“We’ve seen a lot of changes, even here in Bempton, but now we just live quietly, looking after each other. They’ve been happy years.”