"They said it wouldn't last but it did!" Biggleswade couple Eileen and Joe celebrate Diamond wedding anniversary

A Biggleswade couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary surrounded by family, smiles and laughter.

By Jo Robinson
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 12:15 pm

Joe and Eileen Harrington were married on June 2, 1962, in Trinity Methodist Church, Shortmead Street, and were invited to a family barbecue last Saturday to mark the milestone.

It has been a special month for the Harrington’s because Eileen's 80th birthday was on June 13, so the couple were delighted to have a double celebration and received an anniversary card from the Queen.

Joe, 84, told the Chronicle: "They said it wouldn't last but it did!

Joe and Eileen on their wedding day in 1962.

"We met in the milk bar that's when I first clapped eyes on her, and a dance in St George's Hall was where our first date was. They did proper dancing in those days - quickstep, waltz, foxtrot and jazz.

"She was easygoing, shy; we were two of a kind but we seemed to get on."

Joe and Eileen (nee Lamey) were both one of five siblings, with Eileen having lived in Biggleswade all her life and Joe moving to the town around eight-years-old.

Eileen's father was an engineer at the old Cincinnati factory, Dells Lane, and she attended Stratton Grammar School.

Joe and Eileen on their wedding day with Joe's best man, his brother Jim Harrington (now deceased).

After her studies, she went on to work at International Computers Ltd, Letchworth, before having their two children, Tracey and Samantha.

Joe said: "I've been a labourer, coal man, lorry driver, and was a scrap metal dealer for 40 odd years. I'm retired now, but still do a bit of business with my grandson, Joe, at Joe Harrington Scrap Metal."

Over the years Joe and Eileen have enjoyed many family holidays, including to Butlin’s and Pontins, and have happy memories of their daughters as little girls.

"They were very good at conning money out of me!" laughs Joe.

Joe and Eileen Harrington.

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In later years, the pair have been lucky enough to visit Jamaica, for Samantha's wedding, and Malaysia, where Joe had completed his national service.

Joe remembered: "50 years after and it was a different place, more prosperous, independent, a lot better."

Meanwhile, Joe and Eileen used to be keen members of John O’Gaunt Golf Club, and often enjoyed golfing in Scotland.

Joe and Eileen Harrington. Joe is an avid Arsenal supporter and used to live in the tiny house next to the old Red Lion Pub.

They also had a treasured family dog, Bobby, whom Eileen loved taking for walks.

Joe concluded: "We've had our ups and downs but on the whole it's been a lovely 60 years."