Two twin sisters who got married on the same day after meeting their husbands on the same night have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversaries.
Mary and Connie Stephenson, both 81, got hitched to their husbands at the same church after meeting their sweethearts on the same night.
Mary met Henry Smith, now 80, at a dance hall at Darlaston Town Hall in Walsall, West Mids., whilst Connie went on a blind-date with Desmond Stanfield, now aged 82.
The sisters both said ‘I do’ alongside one another at a joint wedding ceremony in St John’s Church in Pleck, Walsall, on March 23, 1957.
Mary and Connie, who both live on the same street in Walsall, West Mids., still see each other every day of the week and holiday together regularly.
Despite being inseparable for most of their lives, the couples were forced to mark their diamond anniversaries separately after failing to find a venue big enough to accomodate their huge families and friends.
Mary celebrated her long marriage to Henry at their local pub while Connie and Desmond had a party at their home.
Speaking about the night she met Henry, Mary said: “Connie and I used to go dancing at Darlaston Town Hall.
“But on that particular night I went on my own because Connie was on a date. It was then that I met Henry.
“I knew he was the one.”
Even though Henry was due to be stationed in Egypt with his Army regiment later that year, Mary promised to wait for him.
She added: “Even though he was going all those miles away, I promised to wait, and I did.
“We’ve just got on. I look after him well enough.”
When Connie and Desmond got engaged a year after meeting, Mary decided that she wanted a double wedding – but she had to ask Harry first.
After plucking up the courage, Mary wrote to her future husband, who was then based in Cyprus, to propose.
Mary said: “Harry and I had to communicate by letter anyway, so I didn’t think it was too strange to propose in writing.
“I just explained we wanted a double wedding, and would he like to marry me.
“I remember the weather was good on the wedding day and it didn’t rain.
“My dad was proud of us both.”
“I haven’t got any secrets. Harry and I just always got on.
“Sometimes you have a little bit of argument, but you get on with it and move on.
“Some days I could kill him, but that’s love, isn’t it?
“Me and Connie get on well enough and have never had an argument.
“One of us is always visiting the other every day, apart from holidays.
“It’s meant that we’ve been able to stay really close. If one of us is ill, the other one feels it, we get the same symptoms and everything.
“When my sister had her first son, I had the same pains during the birth.
“Because we’re twins we do everything together.
“But it’s an unusual thing for twins to celebrate a diamond anniversary and both live in the same street all these years later.
“We still see each other seven days a week. If I don’t go over and see her she’s on the phone asking where I am.”
Recalling Mary’s proposal, Henry, a retired engineer, said: “I’d been on duty guarding an arms depot all night and was on my bunk when the postman handed a letter to me.
“The lad next to me had just got a Dear John letter and I thought I was next in line to be ditched – so I was relieved when I realised she was actually proposing.
“She’d already waited for me all this time – the least I could do was agree.
“I think we’re pretty good at what we do and being together.
“I remember just looking over the dance floor and that was it. I was only 17 at the time.
“The wedding was fantastic, there were lots of people there from three different
families. We filled the boozer afterwards.
“The party on Saturday to celebrate the diamond anniversary was brilliant.
“There were about over 100 people there at the King George V in Pleck. We had a sing song and a good drink which was nice.”
Connie met Desmond on a blind date arranged by one of her colleagues at Stafford and Son leather works, where she worked with her sister.
She immediately fell for the miner, who whisked her away on his motorbike.
Desmond said: “My mate and his girlfriend had actually introduced me to Connie on a blind date.
“I wasn’t really into meeting anybody in those days, as I was more interested in motorbikes.
“But I took her to the local pub and we hit it off straight away.”
Speaking about her relationship with Mary, Connie said: “Our whole lives have been intertwined.
“We’ve always been extremely close, and can even tell when one of us isn’t feeling well.
“When Desmond and I announced our engagement, Mary was over the moon.
“But we’d always done everything together and she wanted to get married to Harry on the same day Desmond and I were set to wed. Desmond and I jumped at the chance.
“It was a perfect day.
“I was so glad that Mary and I shared our wedding day. We even said our vows at the same time.
“I think our father was pretty pleased too – it meant he didn’t have to pay for two celebrations.”
Henry and Mary have gone on to have five children – Neil, 41, John, 46, Wayne, 51 and Patrick, 58, as well as five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Connie and Desmond have three sons – Stephen, 59, Mark, 51, and Alan, 44 – as well as five granddaughters and four grandchildren.
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