Seaside outing and family lunch celebrate Chesterfield couple's 65th wedding anniversary

A Chesterfield couple who have been married for 65 years were treated to a seaside outing and a family lunch to celebrate their sapphire anniversary.

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 12:30 pm
Derek and Sheila Hand, of Marchwood Close, Brockwell
Derek and Sheila Hand, of Marchwood Close, Brockwell

Derek and Sheila Hand, of Marchwood Close, Brockwell, were taken to Bridlington by their youngest son Paul.

Two days later they enjoyed a meal at The Badger pub in Chesterfield, courtesy of their eldest son Stephen, where family members included their grandson Joshua and granddaughter Amelia.

Their anniversary trip to the seaside brought back happy memories for the couple. Sheila said: “We had a lovely afternoon tea in a nice hotel overlooking the sea and a nice walk along the prom. We hadn’t been to Bridlington for about 12 years. My husband has always been mad on the Joe Loss Orchestra and we only ever went to Bridlington when they played there, which they did quite regularly, and we would stay overnight.”

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Derek and Sheila Hand, of Marchwood Close, Brockwell

Seaside resorts are close to the hearts of the couple who spent their honeymoon in Torquay after marrying on Whit Monday in 1957.

They first met when they were both employed at BTH Glassworks in Chesterfield, where Sheila (nee Jevons) was working as a secretary and Derek was an electrician. They were part of a group who would go dancing at weekends to places such as the Victoria ballroom.

The couple began courting a couple of years after their initial meeting and tied the knot three years later.

Sheila said: “We got married at Christ Church, Stonegravels. We had a lovely wedding day - all the family and friends turned up, we hired the church hall and had a tea of ham and tongue salad and a trifle.”

After their honeymoon the couple lived with Sheila’s mother for a few weeks while their terrace house at Chapel Street, Whittington Moor was being decorated. Sheila said: “We lived there for about eight years until we saved enough for a deposit for the new house in Brockwell and have lived here ever since. There are only about six houses remaining on Chapel Street, ours is under the bypass.”

Derek worked at the glassworks for 50 years and Sheila left her job there to raise their sons. She said: “There were no childminders in those days.” Sheila later returned to secretarial work and was employed at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and for the probation service in the town.

In their younger days the couple enjoying dancing and playing tennis at the glassworks or in Queens Park.

Sheila, 86, said: “We've had some lovely holidays, been on a couple of cruises including a Mediterranean one about five years ago and been abroad a few times to America, Majorca, Spain, Cyprus and Malta.”

Nowadays Derek, 92, enjoys watching horse-racing and cricket and Sheila, who follows tennis on television, is looking forward to this year’s Wimbledon matches.

Asked about the secret of their long and happy marriage, Sheila said: "We just fit in with what suits one another. We do things together but also give each other space when we want it.

"Before Covid, my husband would meet eight or ten mates from work at Christmas and they would go out for dinner or have a game of cards.”