A friendship which started at a football match turned into a cup-winning union which has lasted for six decades.
Market Rasen couple John and Janet Hayton celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary at their Caistor Road home with family and close friends.
Janet is a familiar face to many in the town, having been a district nurse there for almost 20 years, while John spent more than 40 years working at Cherry Valley.
“I spent all that time travelling out to Caistor, so when I retired and started going into Market Rasen, people would say ‘Oh, he is the district nurse’s husband’,” laughed John.
John and Janet were both 24 when they married at St Gregory’s Minster in the North Yorkshire village of Kirkdale on March 31, 1956.
They honeymooned in Bridlington and made a return trip to the seaside town as part of the anniversary celebrations – their first visit since their marriage.
Before they were married, John was called to do National Service in the Army. He served in Korea at the height of the war there.
“It was quite something for a 19-year-old,” said John, “not to be recommended.”
John saved his money while in Korea, meaning the couple could get a mortgage and move into their newly-built bungalow after their marriage.
John describes his two years National Service as the time “interest in life” began.
He spent 29 years in the Territorial Army and then joined new RAF Auxillary at Scampton.
John served a total of 44 years with the services and met the Queen on many occasions, attending three garden parties and two receptions and lunches. “It has all been through positions held in the services,” said John.
He was awarded for his service, receiving the Territorial Declaration Medal and Air Efficiency Medal. In 1979 he attended Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE for meritorious service.
“He has done his thing and I had plenty to do, too,” said Janet of their 60 years together.
After spending time in Wiltshire and Kent, the couple came to Market Rasen with John’s job.
They have lived on Caistor Road for more than 50 years, where they raised their two sons, Mark and Robert.
“We always thought we would go back to Yorkshire when we retired, but we have made so many friends here, we have stayed,” added John.