Star Inn couple celebrate 50 years of marriage

Ivor and Yvonne Lloyd 50th wedding anniversary
Ivor and Yvonne Lloyd 50th wedding anniversary

A couple who first introduced the concept of a family-friendly beer garden to local drinkers are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.

Ivor and Yvonne Lloyd took over The Star Inn in Batley Road, Kirkhamgate, in 1969.

Ivor and Yvonne Lloyd 50th wedding anniversary

Ivor and Yvonne Lloyd 50th wedding anniversary

Ivor, who was the youngest licensee in Yorkshire at the age of 23 when he got his first pub in Barnsley, moved to Wakefield to replace his father Bill, who ran the busy pub for three years before retiring.

Soon after taking over, the couple decided to make better use of their large yard and introduced a beer garden.

A roundabout and a climbing frame were also installed to encourage more families to come along.

Yvonne, now 74, said: “It boomed and we were packed.

“It was a gamble as we invested a lot of money but we wanted somewhere families could enjoy themselves.”

Ivor, 72, and his wife ran the Batley Road pub for 38 years and retired in 2008.

Yvonne said: “We met some great characters over the years who always had us both laughing. That’s what we miss most.”

The couple became drunk on love with each other when they met at a friend’s house in their early 20s.

Ivor, from Barnsley, had visited his wife’s home area of Teesside for work and soon after getting together they tied the knot.

They married in Stockton-0n-Tees and moved to Barnsley to run the Red Lion.

To celebrate their anniversary, the couple’s three children Lorraine, Ivor and Dawn have organised a party.

They will be joined by close friends and family including their eight grandchildren.

The pair will celebrate 50 years of happy marriage on Friday, October 17.

Asked about the secret to their happy marriage Yvonne said there must be something they like about each other.

She said: “When we got into the pub business it meant we spent a lot of time together.”

“Nearly 40 years of running the pub has gone so fast but I have happy memories of us always laughing.

“We went through some difficult times but that is what got us through.”