Couple who met at Colney Heath dance mark diamond anniversary

Joan and Jack Bannister

Joan and Jack Bannister - Credit: Archant

A former St Albans couple danced their way through 60 years of marriage to celebrate their diamond anniversary last month.

Jack and Joan Bannister marked the milestone at Luton Hoo with an intimate lunchtime dinner party.

The couple met in 1953, when Joan was 17 and Jack 18, at a local Saturday night dance in Colney Heath village hall, while she was living in Colney Heath and he was in London Colney.

Joan said: ‘’All the teenagers met on a Saturday night, a few of us in a little crowd. A lad I was dancing with worked alongside my husband-to-be.

“Jack said to me ‘I can’t dance but I don’t mind learning,’ but I never made a great dancer out of him!”

They married on March 31 1956 in a joint wedding with Joan’s sister at St Mark’s church in Colney Heath, resulting in a story in the Herts Ad at the time.

After their wedding, Jack had to do two years National Service in the RAF, so they lodged in rooms in Tyttenhanger, but when they demobbed they bought a house and moved to Colney Heath, later relocating to Dunstable.

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Joan worked as a comptometer operator, and her husband was a toolmaker, spending many years working at Vauxhall until his retirement.

When asked about the secret of a successful marriage Joan explained: ‘’A good old argument, and never go to bed angry.’’

Speaking after their recent celebrations, Joan said: “People said it was the best wedding anniversary they had ever been to. Generally everybody enjoyed it so much.

“In a way, the main thing was I was relieved after all the planning, everything was so perfect.’’

The couple now live in Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire. They have a daughter and son, and four grandchildren.