Golden couple celebrate 50 years of marriage

Esther and Frank Holmes are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
Esther and Frank Holmes are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
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Their future was sealed with a proposal on the back seat of the Leeds to Castleford bus.

And now, Esther and Frank Holmes have celebrated 50 years of marriage together.

The couple met when Mrs Holmes accompanied her friend on a youth club trip from Halifax to Leeds ice rink in 1964.

They bumped into Mr Holmes, from Castleford, who was skating with a friend and began chatting. Mrs Holmes, 71, said: “He wasn’t quite keen on me at first and the reason he said was because I was wearing an anorak. I mean, it was cold.”

The pair courted for a year before Frank got down on one knee at the back of the top floor of a double decker bus. “We knew we loved each other and the rest was history,” Mrs Holmes said.

They married at St Augustine’s Church in Halifax on October 8, 1966, before honeymooning in Blackpool.

The couple settled in Castleford, close to where Mr Holmes, now 69, worked as an apprentice mechanical fitter for the coal mining industry - a job he held until being made redundant at the time of the pit closures. He and Mrs Holmes, who worked at Pontefract’s Wilkinson’s sweet factory and later preparing school meals, then went on to travel and have enjoyed many caravanning trips.

The pair, who have two sons and two grandchildren, marked their golden anniversary with a Chinese supper with close family and hope to book a holiday to Japan for belated celebrations.

Mr Holmes joked the secret to their happy marriage was “doing what she wants or tells me to”. Mrs Holmes said: “It’s all give and take. We have had our ups and downs but we love each other.”