Couple who met at Leeds shoe factory celebrate diamond wedding in self-isolation

A couple who met as teenagers while working at a Leeds shoe factory are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary  in self-isolation today due to the coronavirus outbreak.

By Mark Lavery
Thursday, 26th March 2020, 8:00 pm
John and Pamela Carter on their wedding day
John and Pamela Carter on their wedding day

John Carter, 80, is one of 1.4m people with underlying health conditions told by the NHS to self isolate for 12 weeks.

Neighbours and family are looking out for Mr Carter and his wife Pamela as they mark the occasion in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Carter was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia five years ago and also suffers from an undiagnosed lung condition.

John and Pamrela Carter

The couple's daughter-in-law Karen Carter, of Wrenthorpe, Wakefield, said: "He takes it all in his stride. They are together all the time and are really close to their family.

"They self isolate anyway for six days a week - we take them to the supermarket on a Friday!"

"I'm going to bake them some buns and leave them on their doorstep for their anniversary."

Mr Carter, from Hunslet Carr, was a 16-year-old pattern cutter at the former Maiden and Island shoe factory when he met 15-year-old machinist Pamela Kitchingman in the late 1950s.

John and Pamela Carter

Pamela Carter, who was brought up in Middleton, said: "His auntie worked there and I think he asked her to ask me for a date. I said yes and that was it."

The couple went to The Crescent cinema on Dewsbury Road on their first date.

They were married on March 26 1960 at St Mary's Church on Town Street, Middleton.

Just three weeks later, Mr Carter was called up for national service and spent two years as an HGV driver in the army, which included two six-month stints in Kenya.

Mrs Carter worked as a machinist at Appleson shoes off Skinner Lane in Leeds and Mr Carter was an HGV driver for the former George Ward haulage company.

Mr Carter, who played rugby league for the Market District club in Leeds in his youth, later worked for Reynolds, GKN and British Steel in Leeds.

The couple, who lived in the same house on Woodhouse Hill Road in Hunslet Carr for 50 years, have lived in Lofthouse, Wakefield, for the past six years.

They have two children: Tony, 57 and Lisa Jane, 51; three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Mrs Carter said: "You just grow on each other as the years go on. I just couldn't imagine it being any other way."