Special milestone for former mayor

Dorothy and Eric Livesley celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary.
Dorothy and Eric Livesley celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary.

A New Mills couple have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary and received a special card of congratulations from HM The Queen and Prince Philip.

Dorothy and Eric Livesley married on Boxing Day in 1947, a month after the royal couple, and celebrated the special anniversary with members of their family.

The couple married on the 25th anniversary of Eric’s parents, and enjoyed a joint reception, although the day didn’t go exactly to plan, as Dorothy explained.

“I got to the church before Eric so my dad took me down in to New Mills and went to three pubs,” she said. “I sat in the car and he brought me a glass of sherry from each.”

When Dorothy went back to St George’s Church, Eric was waiting for her but there was no sign of the vicar.

“The vicar had forgotten and was at home,” said Dorothy. “The best man went to the vicarage to fetch him and it was OK after that.”

The couple met a year earlier at a dance in Marple in 1946 when Dorothy was aged 17 and Eric was 21.

“Things weren’t back to normal as soldiers were still coming back from the war. Dancing was a popular past-time,” said Eric.

“I think that is where you went to find a partner. A lot of young people met at dances.”

The dance was held at Marple Baths. During the winter months the pool was covered with a wooden floor to enable dances to take place.

During their married life the couple have twice built their own home; the first on Batemill Road and the second, still their home today, on Watford Lane which they have lived in for almost 33 years.

The couple have three daughters, six grandchildren and three great grandsons.

While most of the family is within Derbyshire they have grandchildren living and working in Malaysia and Australia

During his working life Eric operated a successful sheet metal factory in New Mills.

Dorothy was a baker and confectioner, and later after having her family saw her persistence pay off in a new career as an engraver for the textile industry

She went along to the works on Watford Road and asked for a job: “I had the door slammed in my face so went along the next day!”

She was taken on and after successfully completing a month-long trial Dorothy ended up staying there for 17 years before it closed down at the same time as the cotton mills.

Later she also worked creating wallpaper designs.

Dorothy was elected to High Peak Borough Council and was a member of the council for 19 years. She was Mayor of High Peak in 1984/85, with Eric her consort.

Her interest in becoming a councillor was sparked at a meeting where she became fed-up with people saying they would stand but were unwilling to put their political affiliations on their election addresses.

“I said ‘I’ll stand as a Conservative and I bet I will beat you’. I lost by three votes but two years later when the next elections came round I got on and was there for 19 years until I decided to retire.

“I made some good friends who I am still friendly with. It was very interesting.”