Blind date to 50 years wed

Michael and Dorothy Bramwell of Farmilo Close celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.
Michael and Dorothy Bramwell of Farmilo Close celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.
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After 50 years of being Michael’s ‘special lady’ Dorothy and her devoted husband celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with family and friends.

It was on Saturday 5th October 1963 when the couple tied the knot at St Luke’s Church in Whaley Thorns.

And it was here that the couple returned on Saturday to relive that memorable day by visiting the church and having photographs taken outside.

“On our wedding day we didn’t get any pictures at the church as they didn’t turn out, so we had to return a week later and try and pose again,” remembers Dorothy, 68. “But it wasn’t the same as I didn’t have my bouquet and there weren’t any guests there.”

The couple met on a blind date set up by Michael’s cousin, Lillian, who worked at Mansfield Hosiery Mills with Dorothy at the time.

“I was only 16 and he was 21,” recollects Dorothy. “I asked my parents permission to go on the day trip with Michael and a group of friends to Skegness and they said yes.”

The couple continued to court by going to the cinema mostly, as Dorothy wasn’t old enough to go to the pubs or clubs.

“We did as we were told in those days so as well as the cinema, we used to go to the Westfield Lane club and just sit outside.”

Dorothy was born in Shirebrook and lived in Langwith when they met whilst Michael lived at Doe Lea where they stayed with his father for the first two years of married life.

The couple then moved into a council house on RuskinRoad, Bull Farm, where they lived for 38 years and raised their four daughters, Julie, Tracy, Linda and Paula, who all still live locally.

The golden pair moved to their current address on neighbouring Farmilo Crescent 10 years ago.

Michael and Dorothy have remained together over five decades, which they admit hasn’t been easy and has took some give and take.

“We’ve had some arguments over the years - mainly in the early days over the children or money,” explained Dorothy who worked at the ABC Cinema for over 23 years.

“And there have been moments where he said he was leaving, but he only got as far as the gennell and then 10 minutes later came back,” she affectionately remembers.

The couple have spent many years holidaying in Skegness when their children were younger but have gone further afield in recent years to one of their favourite destinations - Spain.

Michael, 73, has spent his working life divided between working as an engineer at Bonham and Turner and as a cleaner for Portland College where he retired from.

He has suffered with bad health over the last two years and relied on his wife to care for him but said his illness has brought them even closer together.

“I loved her then and I love her now and I wouldn’t be without her.”

The couple celebrated their golden day with a meal at The Rufford on Chesterfield Road for family and friends who congratulated the pair on their long union.