Diamond joy for well-known Dales couple

Iris and Norman Laud of Wirksworth have celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary
Iris and Norman Laud of Wirksworth have celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary

A well-known Dales couple have celebrated a landmark wedding anniversary with a party for family and friends at home.

Diamond pair Iris and Norman Laud, of Wirksworth, are familiar faces in the area because of the high-profile jobs they held for many years.

Eighty-year-old Iris was the manager of Hilton’s shoe shop in the town and is now a volunteer in the Age UK charity shop, while Norman, also 80, is a retired police officer who served as a sergeant at Matlock and later as inspector at Bakewell.

They celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on August 31 just months after both turned 80, Iris in March and her husband in July.

Originally from Newhall in south Derbyshire, romance blossomed for the couple when they were teenagers - although Norman says he had known Iris before they began ‘courting’ as their families lived on the same road.

“Iris was at number one and I was at number 10,” he said.

“Iris had two brothers and a sister and I had two brothers, all of a similar age, so we saw a lot of each other as children and growing up.

“We really started ‘courting’ when we were 16 and have never been apart since except for my two years’ National Service.

They were married at the Central Methodist Chapel in Newhall on August 31 1957 when they were both 20.

After completing his National Service, Norman joined Derbyshire Constabulary and the couple moved to the Dales.

They lived at Matlock Bath for 11 years and moved to Wirksworth in 1975.

Norman said: “I was a sergeant at Matlock and later inspector at Bakewell before working at force headquarters, Ripley.

“I retired in 1989 and afterwards worked in the traffic section of the county surveyors department until I finally retired in 1997.”

His wife was the manager of the Hilton’s shoe shop on the Market Place at Wirksworth for 18 years until she retired when the shop closed.

She is now a volunteer in the charity shop just a few doors away from the former Hilton’s premises.

The couple have one son, Chris, who is a company financial director, and his wife Tracey is a nurse at Lime Grove Surgery in Matlock.

They also three grandchildren, Rose, Matt and Jake.

And Norman has this advice for couples looking to enjoy marital bliss.

He said: “As far as the secret of a successful marriage is concerned we would say it is always supporting each other through the good and bad times, and drinking a lot of tea.”