Northampton couple celebrating milestone 60th wedding anniversary say the key to happiness is to ‘make the best of one and other’

The couple had their first date at Northampton Drill Hall and still live in the same house they bought just before their wedding

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 7:45 am
The duo will celebrate their milestone with a family dinner this weekend. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.

A Northampton couple who are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary credit their decades of happy marriage to ‘give and take’, ‘having a sense of humour’ and 'making the best of one and other'.

Sheila and Peter Freak married at St Michael’s Church, Abington on September 16, 1961 aged 29 and 31, respectively, on what Sheila says was a ‘windy day’.

Peter, who was born in Luton and moved to Northampton when he was four, was in the Royal Air Force (RAF) for eight years before returning to the town where he became a motor mechanic at Henry Oliver’s.

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The happy couple on their wedding day in 1961. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.

It was this job which led him to meet his future wife and life partner.

In 1958, Sheila, who was born in Northampton and worked as an accounts clerk, took a role at the car dealership and the duo had their first date at The Drill Hall in Clare Street.

Now the couple, who are parents to two children and grandparents to one grandchild, are celebrating 60 years of marriage.

Sheila, who is 89, said: “Where have all those years gone? They’ve gone quite quickly.

Sheila and Peter Freak have been married for 60 years. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.

“We’ve had our ups and downs like most people.

“But you have to be able to give and take, you need to have a sense of humour and should make the best of one and other.

“You have to take the bad with the good and live life to the fullest.”

Sheila also says it is important to ‘get out on holiday when you can’ and to share interests.

Throughout the decades the pair have enjoyed exploring the country together, and they are both members of a Far Cotton history group, which they have just returned to post-Covid.

Peter, who is 91, added: “We’ve spent a lot of our time travelling around England. We’ve never been abroad since we got married.

“We did a lot of our holidays in villages and we kept away from big towns and cities.

“There are some really lovely villages in the country and we love exploring and there are still bits of Northampton we are discovering.

“It’s a hobby of ours to research family history. We’ve been all around the country doing so.

“We’ve been from Land’s End to Northumberland chasing family.

“I was in a boys’ home in Northumberland during the war (Second World War) so we wanted to find that home.”

When Sheila left work to have the couple’s son and daughter, she took on a role as a Governor at Trinity School for 20 years. She was also involved in the parent-teacher association.

While Peter continued to work as a mechanic until he retired in the 1990s, Sheila also clocked up 21 years as a Magistrate.

Today, the couple still live in Queen’s Park in the same house they bought a matter of months before they got married.

Sheila, who still has her wedding dress, continued: “We came here 60 years ago and we’ve stayed here.

“We were frantically trying to buy a house before we got married and we’ve been here ever since.

“We’ve seen a lot of changes, not just in the street, but we have to accept it and accept change. Accept and adapt.”

The couple will celebrate their milestone anniversary with a dinner this weekend with close family.

They are also looking forward to receiving a telegram from The Queen.