For the love of singing: Dales couple celebrate diamond wedding anniversary

Happy couple: John and Sheila Hone (s).
Happy couple: John and Sheila Hone (s).

Pateley Bridge couple John and Sheila Hone celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a family gathering at the Guy Fawkes Arms in Scotton – and a card from the Queen.

As with 100th birthdays, the Queen sends a card of congratulations to couples when they reach the milestone of 60 years of married life together.

John, 85, was a teacher at Bewerley Park Outdoor Pursuits Centre until his retirement, while Sheila, 84, taught at Fountains Earth Primary School in Lofthouse.

The couple met at a singing group at the Folk House adult education centre in Sheila’s native Bristol, and were married in the city in 1956.

They moved up North to Pateley Bridge in 1965, when John was offered a job teaching outdoor pursuits at Bewerley Park, which was then known as the ‘camp school’.

Then working as a French teacher in Bristol, John had been a keen climber since his days as a student at Bangor University and had been on several expeditions including to the Alps, in the days when equipment was much more rudimentary than it is today.

At Bewerley Park, young people from all over Yorkshire, many from deprived urban areas, were introduced to the countryside and to outdoor activities such as sailing, climbing and mountaineering by John and his teaching colleagues.

John and Sheila’s shared love of music and singing is still an important part of their lives and they are members of local choirs the Nidderdale Community Choir and the Nidd Chorale chamber choir.

They have three daughters: Kathryn, Alison and Sarah; six grandchildren: Tom, Sam, Amy, Jess, Izzy and Emily, and two great-grandchildren: Alfie and Poppy.

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