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A Diamond celebration for a special Shropshire couple (23rd May 2012)

A Diamond Wedding Anniversary is newsworthy at any time. But when it also happens to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, which will be sweeping the country next month, it suddenly becomes very special.

1952, of course, was the year King George VI died.  The year tea rationing ended; Sooty first appeared on television; Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap began its run on the West End; the UK’s first singles chart was published.

It was also the year The Queen ascended to the throne; and the year when Walter and Brenda Beasley were married.

Sixty years later, the Shropshire couple - who live in Wellington, Telford - are making plans for their Diamond Wedding Anniversary party at Hadley Park House Hotel, in Telford, on Saturday, June 2nd.

The Diamond celebration is just one thing Mr & Mrs Beasley have in common with the Queen.  Another is the way in which, over the years, Private Eye has chosen to nickname Her Majesty: “Brenda”!

“Yes - I do know that,” smiles Walter, who first met ‘his’ Brenda on a blind date at Cradley Heath Speedway track in 1949.

“We hit it off immediately, met again the following week, and took it from there,” he says.

Engaged two years later, they were married at Stourbridge Catholic Church on May 31st, 1952.

A honeymoon in Fowey, Cornwall, followed - as did the move to Shropshire, in 1965, when Walter started teaching at the (then) brand new Donnington Wood Primary School.  He worked there until 1974, becoming Deputy Head Teacher at St Matthews Church of England School, and then retiring in 1983.

True to their surname (which derives from “bees in a meadow or woodland”), they have been busy ever since.  Walter enjoys crosswords and tapestry, while Brenda - previously an infant school teacher - is still an active member of the WI, and Wrekin Flower Club.

Most recently, they have been very busy planning their Diamond Wedding Anniversary party at Hadley Park House Hotel, in tandem with General Manager Mark Lewis.

“It’s been an absolute joy getting to know Walter and Brenda,” says Mr Lewis.   “And we are going to make sure that this is a party of a lifetime.”

Almost 50 guests will assemble at Hadley Park House Hotel on June 2nd to join-in the celebration - including Walter and Brenda’s two daughters Helen and Deborah, who married a Frenchman and now lives with her two sons in Geneva.

Their 60 years of marriage, says Walter, has been “full of the usual clichés”.

“We’ve had our ups and downs,” he admits.  “But we’ve not had an argument for years.  We just look-out for one another now.”

While the Diamond Wedding Anniversary will give the hotel a very special atmosphere during the country’s Jubilee celebrations, Mr Lewis and his team are also preparing for a
Gala Dinner Jubilee Tasting Evening on Friday, June 8th.  The special 6-course Best of British evening meal - one for every glorious decade - is priced at £45 per head, and will also feature music and fireworks.

The week will also feature Sunday lunch on June 3rd and June 10th - at a special price of £20.12 per head.

For more details visit www.hadleypark.co.uk.